Sounds contradictory isn't it? There's more to it.
This famous quote came from Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr (1808 - 1890), a French critic, journalist and novelist. It was published in Les Guêpes on July 1848, against the backdrop of turbulent events which saw King Louis-Philippe of the July Monarchy toppled and replaced by Louis Napoleon Bonaparte of the French Second Republic.
Here is a brief overview of French history, for those of you that are not aware:
- 987 - 1792: Kingdom of France
- 5 May 1789: Beginning of the French Revolution
- 3 Sep 1791: Kingdom of France becomes a provisional constitutional monarchy
- 21 Sep 1792: Kingdom of France abolished, replaced by the French First Republic
- 9 Nov 1799: Coup of Brumaire
- 1804 - 1814: First French Empire under Napoleon
- 1814 - 1815: First Bourbon Restoration
- 20 Mar - 8 Jul 1815: Hundred Days
- 1815 - 1830: Second Bourbon Restoration
- 1830 - 1848: July Monarchy
- 1848: French Revolution of 1848/February Revolution
- 1848 - 1851: French Second Republic
As it can be seen above, France experienced 8 regime changes in just a short period of around 50 years. It was a long struggle between monarchy and republicanism.
As a history student, I was exposed to the social cycle theory, in which society and history evolves in a cyclical pattern. Regimes will rise in power until its zenith when corruption and systemic problems will spell its end, similar to the Chinese dynastic cycles which I am too familiar with.
As such from a historical point of view I am very inclined to agree with Karr's statement. Political change will always occur, but the very nature of politics may very well be the same - to provide a better quality of life for the citizens.
While things may seem the same some time after changes happen, I feel we should not deny the fact that actual change has occurred. The fact that changes were made acknowledges the fact that things can be done in another entirely different way. It is a sign of maturity and responsibility by taking action to make changes, especially if the previous method is a workable one.
Now that I am older, I feel that we should embrace change. Change will always occur, and it is a sign that people are making an effort to do things a different way.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results each time. — Albert Einstein
Doing an action the same way each time just because "it works" to me is a sign of complacency. Even today I constantly think of different ways and methods to travel from place to place. It has brought me lots of surprises along the way.
Do you know that it takes about 8 mins to travel from Tropica Condo (75259) to Bartley MRT Exit A (62071) on bus 129 with favourable traffic conditions? Or the fact that there are far less McDonald's outlets in the western part of Singapore as compared to the eastern part of Singapore?
I only found out about these miscellaneous information in my trips when I tried to do something different - picking unique routes to travel because I found them to be interesting.
How well are you coping with change? To me, changes are always welcome. They represent the innate human desire to always better oneself, to not be complacent and to strive for excellence.
To change is to create a better future.