Monday, March 15, 2010

Adjusting to Change

I witnessed two blaring examples of people having to adjust to change quickly today.

They have repainted the lanes of a main street in my neighborhood called Verdugo. The thoroughfare was a four-lane road until about a four days go when the street was reconfigured to include a bicycle lane, thus leaving one lane in each direction for cars.

I have been noticing that since this change, drivers have been doing everything but heeding the new rules. They have been trying to sneak in the right car-pool lane to pass other cars, then tear over back into the single lane, and they have been getting confused on where to make their right and left turns. There is also a new center turning median.

The evidence of this interruption of routine is broken glass and pieces of fenders up and down the street. There have been several accidents as a result of this simple change, and I even witnessed a hit and run the other day of someone trying to get around the new rules. I luckily got the complete license plate of the suspect vehicle and called the Burbank Police with all of the info.

I am not saying that I accept change any easier then others, in fact I have a track recording of resisting change and adapting to it at my own speed, which is usually slower than others. But this lane thing on Verdugo is pretty simple; not rocket science. It’s clearly marked and therefore, I find it to be an interested micro-sociological study of the lack of adaptation skills that drivers seem to have.

The second adjustment to change that I witnessed today, a horrible one, was during the funeral of a six-year-old boy that Brenda and I went to. Just last Tuesday, he fell out of a 2nd story town home window down to the parking garage ramp below and had died within hours of his fall. I can think of no more excruciating thing than to bury one’s own child, and adjusting to the changes would seem nothing short of impossible to me.

At the funeral service, the mother spoke, followed by the father. This man, a tall, large-framed gentleman, who looked to be otherwise unmovable, couldn’t get his words out as he spoke. He was so pained by the loss of his only son, that at the end, sobbing, he was losing his ability to stand, and two people had to support him off of the stage. I have never witnessed such pain before today. I thought he was courageous and strong for getting up to say some emotional words about what his son had meant to him. I cried as he spoke.

I was also affected by the number of children, 2nd graders, who came up and told of their friendship and feelings of loss of their beloved friend. The clarity and purity of their words of love and affection were unrivaled by any adult speaker in the room. The most heart-wrenching moment was when a little overweight, fair-skinned boy came up to the microphone with his father in tow. He started to speak of how much he cared for Dylan, that was the boy’s name who has passed, and this little speaker started wailing and crying so hard, that his large father, who was standing behind him, began to cry as well.

My heart goes out to all of those who were in Dylans life and who have to somehow find the ability to adjust to his loss.