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Drunk on the smoke of change

Change is nothing more than a moral ethical exercise, and in its chattiness of possibilities the adjectives of despair thrive.

If that sounds gloomy or like downright pessimism, you’re spot on. I’m not referring so much to the Obama politics of hopeful/wishful change, but to the eternal cyclical nature of humanity.

I think back to over 30-years ago when I first read the novels by Chinua Achebe “Things Fall Apart,” or Mariano Azuela’s “The Underdogs.”  It was quite obvious to me, even as a fresh 20-something, that transformative politics are nothing more than a changing of the old guard. And if those examples are not clear enough, go back a little bit further to the Roman Empire, or perhaps the Spanish Inquisition.

Whenever an individual or a group proposes change to the larger populous, the seeds of discontent sprout. Maybe jealousy or envy tears apart the idealistic notions of the young revolutionary, or greed grabs the soul of a powerful leader. I believe it was the Jungian scholar turned shaman, C. Michael Smith who spoke aptly about spiritual leaders stumbling drunk on the smoke of power. Can one place the Pope in that infamous group, with his credo of celibacy, turning his proverbial gold-clad back on the poverty stricken and the abused?

Change incurs a rambling dialogue. It does not resolve itself or those involved in its mission. It leaps across categories, countries, and philosophical comforts wearing seven league boots. And every time we think we’ve caught up to it, or can smell its essence, we’re left behind, clawing in the dust.