Secret #21

Change Is Scary

We humans would prefer things, for the most part, to remain unchanged forever. There is comfort in the known. We would just as soon not keep aging. We would prefer our neighborhoods to stay the same. Some of us would even prefer our children to stay children so that we could be with them forever. In our quest for wealth, we would rather money just come to us without the need for change. Putting in effort to change our speaking skills, for example, takes effort, as you saw in the last section. We would rather our jobs last forever, but just pay us more. And wouldn't it be great if our clothes never wore out and we already had everything we would ever need?

But all of this is fantasy. Things do and will change. That we feel stress when they do does not change the fact that change is inevitable. The more permanent the impending change, the more stress we feel. You cannot stop change, but you can learn to cope with the stress, and the approaches you will find in ancient Jewish wisdom can help.

In April 1998, Fortune magazine ran a cover story, “Out of the Holocaust,” which recounted the stories of five men who survived the Holocaust death camps and then came to America to start new lives. They were young men in a strange land with nothing but the shirts on their backs, but each one of them eventually built up enough personal wealth and became rich philanthropists. From Europe's death camps to Stalin's Gulags, from Cambodia's killing fields to Rwanda's corpse-filled ...

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