How often are you open to change?

Today is May 19 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often are you open to change?” The word change comes up often in the research, backstories, and historical events involved with the study of how people navigated the chaos. Change has an interesting etymology and offers a different application of the word.

Middle English: from Old French change (noun), changer (verb), from late Latin cambiare, from Latin cambire ‘barter.’ Barter. Now that is a word not often associated with change. Referring to the origin of the word allows change to be defined more closely to barter – ‘trading one thing for another.’ The typical definition of change is ‘make or become different.’

By using the definition associated with barter the question of the day now becomes “how often are you open to trading one thing in your life for another? Put yet another way the question could be “how often are you open to trading your current life for another life?’ American spiritual teacher Ram Dass noted “Without remaining open to change, we cannot remain open to life.” Israel actress Gal Gadot allowed herself to be open to change and doing so altered the course of her life.

According to Gadot, “If things had gone according to my plans, I'd be a lawyer. I never dreamt of being an actress. My mother was a teacher; my dad is an engineer. But at 18 I was approached to compete in Miss Israel. I thought it would be a nice experience. I never thought I would win! I was shocked when they crowned me. I made friends with women from all over the world. I started modeling and traveling. It opened my mind to different possibilities.”

Following her participation in the competitions, she joined the Israeli Army where, as a citizen of Israel, she completed her two years of mandatory military service. After leaving the army, Gadot studied law. It was when she had completed her first year of school that a casting director called her to audition for the part of Bond girl Camille Montes in the film Quantum of Solace.

Although she lost the part to Olga Kurylenko, the same casting director hired Gadot for the role of Gisele in Fast & Furious. In 2010, she had a small role in the action-adventure Knight and Day. Earlier that year, she appeared in the film Date Night as Natanya, the girlfriend of Mark Wahlberg's character. 2011 brought her back to The Fast & the Furious franchise, reprising her role as Gisele in Fast Five. In 2013, Gadot played Gisele again in Fast & Furious 6. Gadot played Wonder Woman in the movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and starred in the 2017 movie Wonder Woman. Gadot remained open to changing her career path and doing so altered the course of her life.

In 1997 British author Stephen Batchelor, published Buddhism Without Beliefs and wrote about adapting to change and life’s unfolding:

“Did I live? The human world is like a vast musical instrument on which we play our individual part while simultaneously listening to the compositions of others to contribute to the whole. We don't choose whether to engage, only how to; we either harmonize or create dissonance. Our words, our deeds, our very presence create and leave impressions in the minds of others just as a writer makes impressions with their words. Who you are is an unfolding narrative. You came from nothing and will return there eventually. Instead of taking ourselves so seriously all the time, we can discover the playful irony of a story that has never been told in quite this way before.”

How often are you open to change? Have you asked yourself how open you are?

Do you allow yourself to understand that who you are is an unfolding narrative?