Transience, Part 1

I recently went back to my undergrad college, ASU. A college buddy and I visited town for other things, so we walked around King Street and campus a bit. Time has passed, so I expected a few new buildings. What was more surprising was that some of the old buildings were gone. A couple had been torn down to make room for new ones, but at least one was just inexplicably gone. The landscaping was much changed (big shiny modern art installations), and the organization of the ground itself was different. Also what looked like a lot of new buildings turned out to be new façades on old buildings, homogenizing the appearance but no longer matching memory.

I was sort of expecting to live the Nelson Mandela quote that says, “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” But the campus really does look a lot different. I don’t know about the students, the classes, or the teachers because we visited between the end of summer session and the start of orientation for fall, so it was almost completely deserted. I remember the campus as full of students, so that probably contributed to the feeling of change.

This did get me thinking about the evanescence of life. Things really do change, even things that we thought were permanent. Life is all about change, which can be scary, but isn’t always bad. A lot of people expend enormous effort trying to keep things the same. Would that effort be better spent changing things for the better, instead?

More next time…

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