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Why change is not always good

We ran out of toothpaste last week, which is weird because I’m usually pretty organized and I always have “spares” of things we use every day, you know, shower gel, liquid detergent, that sort of thing. Fortunately, I had a travel-sized tube in my bag. We had to resort to using that.

So when I trucked to the weekly store, I bought a few more. I just got our regular brand. Well I thought I had.

“Why did you buy a different toothpaste?” was the way they greeted me the next morning. Not really, I said, I think if you look closely you’ll see that it’s the usual brand…

And it was and, again, it wasn’t. You see, the makers, in their wisdom, put out a new version of our old favorite. Apparently a new and improved version. According to whom I would like to know? Hmmm… Who decided that the old formula wasn’t good enough anymore and decided to play around with it and make it totally unrecognizable from the original version? No one in our house, that’s for sure. I bet it was some executive in a big glass corner office who wanted to shake things up a bit.

Why do some people feel the need to change for change’s sake? Haven’t you heard of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? But then I suppose there is the other side of the coin which asks why, when things are clearly not right, no one makes the effort to change them for the better.

Or is it that we are not satisfied in any way? Do we want everything to stay the same? Are we all fundamentally resistant to change?

There is comfort in the familiarity that you see. We like things that we understand, that we can trust. We really don’t like it when things change. It unsettles us and makes us feel vulnerable and insecure. So often we just move forward in the same way, doing the same old things, and that seems to work for certain people.

And there’s always the argument that if it ain’t broke, then there’s no need to fix it. Things that work perfectly fine the way they are need no change. I understand the desire to have a new and updated “3.0” version of something that’s been around for a while, but I really don’t see why we constantly feel the need to “improve” things that are pretty much perfect the way they are. I guess the perfect example of this is the logo of a famous cola company; its trademark deed has not changed since 1887.

The only problem arises when that familiarity turns into contempt; when we start taking too much for granted and then all of a sudden we are surrounded by disharmony and discontent and that is not a good outcome for anyone.

I’m on the fence on this one. I like change, but only if I feel like I have some control. What I find most difficult is when people who think they know more than me decide to make changes on my behalf and I have no choice but to agree with them. It’s the feeling of not knowing that I don’t like it. But I’m a bit of a control freak, so I guess that’s never going to change.

What I do know, though, is that I would really like to talk to the person who decided to change our toothpaste. I bet you don’t like the new flavor any more than we do.

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