Friday, January 26, 2007

The Challenge of Change

Do you know about Biosphere 2? It's really a pretty cool place.

Biosphere 2 was a structure built to be an artificial closed ecological system in Oracle, Arizona USA. Constructed between 1987 and 1989, it was used to test if and how people could live and work in a completely sealed and closed biosphere. It explored the possible use of closed biospheres in space colonization, and also allowed the study and manipulation of a biosphere without harming Earth's. The first sealed mission was from September 26, 1991 to September 26, 1993. Medical doctors and researchers entered and were sealed into Bio2 where they attempted to sustain themselves entirely off of the mini-earth that the engineers created.

So, what does that have to do with the challenge of change? Well, as you can see from the picture, there was a lot of glass used and everything was totally sealed. Many times we try to do this in our lives. We try to create an environment where we are in control, where we are immune to the external forces of the world... like change. This world we try to create is one where we want to be able to see out through the glass, and yet be protected from what may be on the other side.

Think of it... The inhabitants had their own food supply (gardens of vegetables, fruit trees) and water supply. The solid waste was recycled or used as fertilizer. They had "rain forests" and "deserts", streams and pathways. It truly was as if these scientists inhabited their own little world. The planners and engineers of Bio2 had thought of everything... well, almost everything.

As time went on and the newly planted trees began to grow, a peculiar thing started to happen... The trees started to fall over. They just drooped and wouldn't stand up straight. Fruit trees would bend so much that the fruit would touch the ground. It seemed so odd because fruit trees outside of the glass did not bend over.

Why, then, why were the trees in Bio2 drooping? The researchers found that they had missed one very important part of the earth. It's understandable because you can't see it, you can't taste it. You can't even capture it. What did they miss? The wind. The scientists realized that the reason that the trees were able to stand tall on the real earth is because the wind constantly caused the bark on the trees to strengthen. The wind challenged and exercised the trees causing them to be strong.

All of us resist the challenge of change. It usually blows in the like the wind. You can choose to avoid it, moan about, gripe about it, but that will only leave you droopy. You can, instead, choose to embrace it. Stand up and face the wind head on. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how invigorating the wind can be. It actually adds to your life by providing you with the challenges that make you stronger.

Let me encourage you to embrace the challenge of change. Let the wind blow through your hair. Put your hand out the window and glide it up and down through the wind. Enjoy all the beauty and strength that it brings to your life. You and those around you will be so much better because of your decision to do so.

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