How good is change…really?


Every time I hear someone blatantly espousing the catch phrase “change is good,” I want to scream out, “It depends on what’s being changed, and then you have to consider all the ramifications!”

When spring finally arrives, we feel a surge of personal renewal from the rebirthing of our long-yearned-for plant life. During the summer we’re glorified by the hues and scents of our blooming flowers; the birds, bees, butterflies and other insects they attract; and our lush trees. For many of us, just working with the soil is inherently pleasing. And in the autumn we marvel at the kaleidoscope of colors, while the crunching of leaves under our feet lends us an inner peace. In essence, our souls, spirits and inner-energies depend on these gifts from nature.

Yet, everywhere we turn throughout the world, we’re rampantly developing our earth, yanking out countless trees and flowers — the source of that seasonal rejuvenation, and even more important, what we rely on to emit our precious oxygen. We’re also changing and destroying the vital habitat and ecosystems that our trees, flowers, birds, bees, butterflies and other insects, besides countless wildlife, depend on for their food and shelter — their very existence. Then we’re burying the soil under slabs of cement to make it easier for us to walk or park our vehicles, and erecting dead buildings. In turn, our waters are getting filled with the debris we’ve generated while doing so.

To escape from that sterile environment, we flock to cabins to see less common birds, butterflies and flowers. But once there, we chop down the dead trees that cavity-living birds depend on, and clear away the country denizens’ life-sustaining fallen logs. We mow our grass all the way down to the water’s edge, destroying the birds’ and ducks’ mating grounds, shelter and needed rest areas during their migration. In essence, we’re destroying the vital habitat and ecosystems for everything we came there to see.

I live in the city, and I’ve filled my front yard with a myriad of native plants that attract butterflies, bees and birds. In back, besides more flowers, I’ve hung up a myriad of feeders to attract countless types of birds, and they do come–even the rare ones, during their migration. I sit on our front porch or gaze out the kitchen window and watch nature’s show unfold. Other times I tiptoe through woodlands, listening to the living earth beneath my feet, and the tiniest sounds of life above.

If all this disappeared, would my heart ever sing again? Would yours? I’ve also hung crystals on my windows, so on sunny days I can rejoice in the swatches of rainbows they cast on our walls. Yet, I doubt if that would suffice.

Is it any wonder why I cringe every time I hear those words, “change is good?” Sure, change is inevitable. But good? In this case, not only us but a lot of life forms had better be able to adapt.


  1. This is a really nice article. I feel exactly the same way. Darlene has a great way of expressing her feelings in words. A pleasure to read.

  2. Darlene, what a wonderful, I formative article. It really makes me appreciate our beautiful surroundings even more. Thank you.

  3. Nice article, Darlene! The two faces of change is an interesting paradox. Especially when it comes to ‘modernization’. I heard a program on MPR yesterday about how we love our lakes and yet we are polluting them. Change and nature should be able to coexist somehow because we need both.

  4. Darlene,

    You are right, change isn’t always good especially when it comes to our environment. But, sounds like you’re giving back however you can. Kudos to you!

    Great article.

  5. Darlene…you are such an eloquent writer! The words you use bring my imagination exactly to the places you intended and touch an emotional place! Great job!!!!

  6. You reminded me, Darlene, of a story in a book I have on my shelves: You remember Elisabeth Elliot? Whose husband and friends were massacred by the Auca Indians in Ecuador back in the ’50s? And she subsequently went to live with them for a while, with her baby, and won them over to God and sorrow that they had killed this lady’s husband?

    Well, in this book I’ve got, she tells of, when she came back, and her daughter grew into a youngster, and she could not convince her daughter that the “real” camping her daughter was begging for, couldn’t have been more real than she’d gone through in that jungle in Ecuador! : )

  7. This is wonderful, and so true! Your bird feeders and wildflowers have been inspiring us for the past few years, Darlene. When we get to the point where we can continue with our Asian-inspired garden plans, we will be looking to into native Minnesota plants that can also add to the bird habitat in our yard. Thank you for sharing this article, dear friend. As I’ve mentioned many times before, you have a real gift with words.

  8. Truly you are so right on this Darlene. Change is not always easy but I see God’s sovereignty in all things and that nothing that happens, even if it appears or turns out badly, will not ultimately be used by God for good (Rom 8:28). Well done as usual my good friend. God bless you too.

  9. Darlene, this is a beautifully written article with a spectacular message. I sometimes think about how people took over the earth and destroyed a lot of it. Animals, nature, and Native Americans lived here before us. But, since we’ve inhabited the world, we have dominated it and killed it, put bluntly.

    I, too, live in the city but I love and respect nature and rural life. I love animals too, and so I wish I didn’t eat meat, but I get huge cravings for it when I go without it for a while. Anyway, I appreciate your perspective, compassion, and insight that you’ve reflected in this article.

  10. Darlene, very nice article. Good points throughout! We try to leave some areas in our yard for habitat for birds with bushes. Unfortunately, a squirrel has a nest over our front door this winter. We have a small stream nearby and enjoy the wildlife that this attracts.

  11. Beautiful article, Darlene, and wonderful food for thought! Hopefully it won’t be too late once others “get it”. We formed a lake association this past summer up on our lake for the main purpose of informing others of these very issues. Hopefully it helps keep at least our northern environment healthy. I will submit your article to the editor/publisher of our newsletter for inclusion in the Spring issue. Keep ’em coming!

  12. I for one readily admit to enjoying my paved paradise, but I honor, respect and relish in the wild beauty of nature. There has to be a balance and we have to find it somehow.

    As for change, “we could all use a little change”, but having the courage to face it is the hard part. Life is a journey and “the good” isn’t always from what’s being changed, but from how we deal with. Some change must be fought tooth and nail to keep from coming about, while some we have to fight to make happen.

    Best wishes in 2012 as change is thrust upon us. Are we ready to fight?

  13. Very nice article… and it does make you think… for a moment… hopefully. Personally, I still say, “Change IS good.”

    Why? Because, without change, even towards a seemingly negative outcome… we are then able to see why that was not so beneficial after all – and we are able to grow and evolve through knowledge and wisdom.

    Also, within our current human consciousness, I think we have set ourselves up for needing to feel the negative just to be able to fully enjoy the positives. Someday… yes, I do hope we will not feel the need to do that. Remember, there is always an ebb and flow to everything within the universe. Right now, yes, the ebb does seem to be going towards destruction of what is around us… though, we also will see the flow of thriving with what is around us as well.

  14. Ah…. change. So easy to talk about and so very difficult to achieve. Requires not only the wish, but the commitment of energy to work at it, I think. If we want something to be different- if we REALLY want it, we must be willing to DO something differently. N’est pas?

  15. Change whether positive or negative can be stressful. Terrific article it says everything I might have thought about it and more! Terrific job on this one!


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