Benjamin Franklin is quoted saying, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished”. Change is such a fundamental process undertaken by all. The concept is timeless and universal, experienced by mankind since creation, still experienced by me today. Without change, society, and individuals within would falter and eventually cease.
Change is a pervasive concept of which my understanding developed significantly throughout the area of study. I initially began the course with no recognition of the importance ‘change’ held within my own life. I saw the concept as only a simplistic illustration of the major and stereotypical developments experienced such as a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly and many other forms of physical modification. My study has led me to understand the depth and multifaceted nature that is the concept of change or development. Incorporating both physical and psychological evolution, change is in fact a complex and prevalent factor of life.
My understanding of the alterations that are present within everyday day life is far greater now subsequently to studying three different change-associated texts. Sky-high a short story composed by Hannah Robert describes the protagonist’s reflection on her childhood spent in her yard and how different it is today. The Door a poem by Miroslav Holub paints the illusion of the psychological development in attitude from that of hopefulness to one of determination. ‘Man In The Mirror’ a song by Michael Jackson portrays the concept that to alter the world around you, you must start with “the man in the mirror” because only from within can change occur. These three texts have increased my knowledge and understanding of the different perspectives change can evoke in a responder.
Through a range of collaborative and individual learning activities I have been able to recognise the impact of psychological and physical change, which is a concept commonly explored in each of The Door, Sky-high and Man In The Mirror. This concept is clearly seen in Holub’s free verse poem, Robert’s short prose piece, and Jackson’s song. During a brainstorming session within class, students were able to contribute their own ideas about change, which raised questions such as ‘Is change always a positive thing?’ ‘Can change be avoided?’ and ‘What prompts change to occur?’
Holub suggests that the individual can and should initiate change. He repeatedly prompts one to “Go and open the door”. This metaphor can be interpreted in various ways. Perhaps he’s suggesting that it is simple to initiate an alteration, as simple as opening a door. However contributors to a blog I accessed on the Internet variously suggest that the door is the symbol of a barrier to change or that it invites curiosity and inquisitiveness. As a responder I interpret the door to be a transition period between states, whether they be physical or spiritual such as moving from fear to courage or from childhood to adulthood. While Holub is urging others to take action Michael Jackson in the lyrics of Man In The Mirror is having a conversation with himself, urging himself to “change his ways…if you wanna make the world a better place”. In a mixed group of peers, discussion revealed that we represent a range of personality types, some who are the initiators of change and some who will not want to leave their limited world. When I reflect upon this, I think that for the world to resist chaos, there needs to be a healthy measure of both sorts of personalities.
In the short story Sky-high Hannah Robert reflects on her childhood and uses the metaphor of the backyard clothesline in much the same way as Holub’s door and Jackson’s mirror. The clothesline was her “perch above the yard” and the yard was her world. She builds a sense of dreamy reminiscence with sibilance such as “silver skeletal arms…summer afternoon shadows…struggling sapling…surround…like spectators” from the