I was talking to an old friend today. We used to be neighbors, but then we moved away. We were catching up on all the news.
A couple we both used to hang out with came up in the conversation. I haven’t seen them since the day we left, but I think of them often and fondly. They were regular, solid, and kind people. They were into their kids, their house, their family, their friends…you know all the usual stuff.
Apparently, they have completely changed. Gone is the slightly frumpy, square image and now they are night clubbers, DJs and regular attendees at Burning Man, Glastonbury, and Bonnaroo.
How exciting I thought. What a fabulous adventure to have such an unexpected 2nd act in what would otherwise be a gentle middle age. I can imagine them as cool parents, and I hope they’re plotting even more waywardness for their 3rd act.
Not every one feels that way though. It seems that they’re scandalizing the neighborhood. This is not because they’re doing anything scandalous per se, but rather because they’ve dared to change and rebel against the social norm. That is a huge scandal in itself.
Coaching is all about testing the limits and helping people to become something different. The change may be large or small, and may happen quickly or slowly.
Whatever. Watching people change is always a test. It threatens the limits and boundaries that we’ve put around ourselves and it removes our excuses for why we haven’t changed aspects of our own lives. It makes us hold up a mirror and look at our own reflection. Watching people change can be an inspiration, or provide a reason for self-justification and retrenchment. The choice is ours.
I say Vive La Change! And Bring it on!
In fact I have been so inspired by this couple that I’ve come home tonight and bought 2 tickets for Glastonbury in July. It could be Burning Man next.