How to live in the changes of the habits imposed on us?

Nothing is permanent forever in our lives. Therefore, we frequently have to live in the thought that who and what we love may disappear from our lives one day. It starts with tiny things: For example, I used to take my laundry to a certain laundromat, and lo and behold, it closed. It ends up in trouble, just like being fired from work to disasters like getting a disability that fell on us, divorcing, or losing someone dear to us.


We will see how we can face the worst side of the loss. In some cases, we will also see that we find that the change indeed imposed on us was for the better in retrospect.


In this post, I bring some examples of this:


Personal examples:

- After 20 years of visiting my mother on weekends, I changed my habits.

- I was transferred from my old club to a new one. This change that was forced on me.


- Examples that whole groups and even whole peoples had to deal with the loss. The examples were taken from the field of economics.


Personal examples:


1) How, after 20 years of visiting my mother on the weekends, I had to change my habits.


Until recently I used to visit and stay with my mom every Friday and Saturday. But then problems arose: first of all, I rehearse for the choir, in which I participate, and I do not want to disturb her when I sing. Second, I'm working on my blog, and I have to constantly transfer files from my home computer to her computer and back. But the problem of problems is her new caregiver: (At 89, my mother suddenly needed a caregiver 24 hours a day, 7 days a week): she was unwilling to sit in the main room while she rested because she was not comfortable seeing her in pajamas.


I was not willing to stop coming to visit my mother after 20 years of doing so every weekend. On top of that, my mother used to cook for me these days (I don’t know how to cook, so I eat in restaurants), and I wasn’t willing to eat in restaurants now on Saturdays when there is no public transportation.


I thought for a moment not to come to Mom anymore but just to say hello, but that would have prevented me from seeing the family I would meet on Friday afternoons. After discussing this issue with my family, I was offered that I would now visit my mother on Fridays from 4 pm to 6 pm. I accepted this offer as a compromise offer: True, I would be lonely on Saturdays and have to take care of food on Saturdays, but I would continue to visit my mother and see my family once a week.


In the meantime, the corona crisis hit us because of which I had to stop visiting my mother anyway.


2) Changing habit (s) also brings us to other/new things that may be better than those that were. In the Bible, it is written: Dare came out sweet (not always, of course, but happens).


Following an argument I had with the previous club manager, I had to move to another club. I had a hard time accepting the news. In retrospect, I admit the change was for the better: I made new friends for myself. And I enjoy more professional activities that were not in the previous club, like psychodrama, creative writing, and of course karaoke, thanks to which I got the idea to sign up for a choir.


The fact that we make a change to the situation we have become accustomed to, and in retrospect, the change turns out to have been for the better is true not only for the individual person. It is sometimes true for an entire group and even for an entire nation.


Examples from the field of economics:


I will give examples from a field that I hate and do not understand anything: Economics (I completed a course in Economics 1 with a grade of 55, this was my lowest grade at the Technion). It happens that when you have an opinion of the layman, known as the opinion of an idiot and naivety in the mouths of the experts, it turns out over time that this opinion is correct because it is based on common sense. I would still love to read your response.

I will first give a negative example (how the French people are deceived by sticking to a habit), and then a positive example (how the Israeli people emerged victorious by breaking free from a mental habit).


Negative example: Unemployment: How the French people go astray after clinging to a habit.


In France, the politicians have explained and continue to explain to people, that "there is nothing to be done against unemployment, even though they have tried everything possible", that unemployment is committed to reality as long as there is no growth. Common sense, mine, in any case, says that while there is a clear link between growth and unemployment, the causal link is exactly the opposite. No: there is unemployment because there is no growth, but: there is no growth because there is unemployment! But people would rather blame the blame on an abstract factor like growth, than tell them: There is a problem because you are not working!


A whole series of absurd laws have come out in France like the one that a worker should not be fired, but with his employer proving that he made a known and serious mistake. This law did indeed have a good intention: to protect the workers, but, as is well known, hell is littered with good intentions. The result is that employers are reluctant to recruit employees lest they be able to lay them off in the future. In Israel, for example, there is no such law: an employer can fire an employee without any justification (and your faithful servant lives it on his flesh several times). And see what a wonder: there is almost no unemployment! (Note: Things were written before the Corona crisis)


Positive example: Inflation was rampant in Israel in the 1970s and 1980s, reaching a peak of 400%.


In Israel, too, and again - in order to protect the people, they got used to attaching almost everything to the consumer price index. No party dared to propose the abolition of indexation, lest it be re-elected. Until, fortunately for Israel, a political situation of complete equality between the right and the left (as it is today), allowed the rule of the left and the united right to decide on unpopular measures. They have unlinked this attachment, and hop! Inflation disappeared. In my opinion, Israel continues to cling to wrong mental habits in other areas, so for example, peace is destined to come.


In summary, some points to keep in mind regarding changes:


We need to live in the knowledge that there is nothing eternal in our world, from the banalest things to the most precious items.


- We have to live with the thought that one thing or a lot of things may / may suddenly change (I write this in the middle of the corona crisis ...).


- Of course, this does not mean that we should not adopt habits (for things or humans). On the contrary, the more habits we have, the more mass we can control.


- It does mean that our tomorrow will probably be slightly or very different from what we imagined, and we will have to change mental patterns and habits accordingly.


- When the situation changes, and we cannot adapt to the new situation with the old habits, we have to adapt to new habits.


- Naturally, there will be a period of adjustment in the transition between old and new habits, which can even be a period of mourning when it comes to dramatic changes. But this period should be limited in time.


- Sometimes it is better to swallow saliva and admit - not that we were wrong, but that circumstances have changed than to continue to live by habits and thought patterns that have become obsolete.


- In a positive attitude, we must do everything so that the change was for the better in the end.


If you noticed, I like examples, and therefore apologize for the "philosophizing" in this summary section. So, I will end with an example:


I heard a senior professor of economics say that when the corona crisis passes, we will maintain good habits, which we have adapted to because of the crisis - like working remotely when possible - something that should have been done a long time ago. For example, we were used to getting up, going through the morning traffic jams, going to an office whose physical existence was unnecessary, working under the boss's gaze, without the ability to look after the children, and returning home exhausted after the evening traffic jams. Nowadays, the telephone, the internet, the video calls have made all this unnecessary, but it has been difficult to ask people to change the habits of thousands of years. To the coronavirus, I will say thank you here!


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Below is a quote from Aldous Huxley, which was reported by an Internet user, and my reaction to this quote. There is only one part of the universe that we can definitely change: ourselves. Aldous Huxl