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The Changers and The Changed

On a road trip recently I had the pleasure of listening to a series of webinars hosted by Afrofuturist writer Tananarive Due and Religion professor Monica A. Coleman (for those interested the name of the webinar series is Octavia Tried To Tell Us which focuses on the life and ideas of Octavia Butler an author of speculative fiction, an Afrofuturist, and overall badass). The profound conversation weaved its way to a topic we all have a love/hate relationship with, change. Now this may step on the toes of us folx who want to “change the world” or “make a difference” but I invite you to sit in the possible discomfort of what I have to say, at least for a few minutes. Now I could go on and on about all the things that were discussed, but for brevity's sake I will focus on the most profound of all, at least for me. They discussed the static colonizer mindset of changing individuals, the world, even systems and frameworks, without a willingness to also be changed by our experience of those things. Simply put, we want others to be changed without actually being changed ourselves. Wow. This hit me so hard. How often do I do that? How often do you do that? How often do we collectively do that? The reality is that every interaction, every situation, every circumstance, every “something that is happening way over there” changes us. Each day we have the choice to either fight tooth and nail to resist being changed, or the opportunity to open ourselves up to the possibilities that change brings. We are not static, life is not static, the universe is not static, and yes, even the divine (whatever our understanding of it may be) is not static. Octavia Butler really drops the mic on this concept when she wrote the following:

All that you touch you change. All that you change changes you. The only lasting truth is change. God is change.

Let that sink into your pores. Let the truth of that statement permeate every aspect of your being. What would it look like if we embodied this simple truth? How would we live our lives differently if we truly recognized we are both the changers and the changed?

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