As i understand things, a “paradigm shift” comes from Thomas Kuhn’s scientific description that has to do with changing our basic understandings or assumptions. And as i understand things, a “seismic shift” has something to do with the vibrations of the earth, commonly known as “earthquakes.” If you put these two concepts together, they describe foundational, earth-shattering changes.
That’s what i’ve felt since the year 2009 began. For two reasons…
One, i became a Grandma to my daughter Sara’s little son, Niko. I watched him come into the world and I watched my daughters body push out a child into the light of life. I saw the tears all around, including my own, and i felt the earth move under my feet as i fell in love with a new little life…my grandson!
Niko changed me by his very presence. Suddenly i was no longer just “mom” but “grandmom.” Suddenly i had the unique privilege of loving someone without having to attend to the daily tasks that wear one down…and that love is different…free somehow… The seismic shift came when he looked at me and smiled, as my heart was forever changed.
The other paradigm shift is occurring this week as i watch the inauguration ceremonies of our new President Obama. To see the excluded become, not only included, but central to leadership roles, is breath-taking and life-giving. To see ones who could not even imagine this day…so they had to go see for themselves… To see hope rise up out of the rivers of pain… A paradigm shift that opens up hope for all those who have wondered if they really can “have a dream.” All assumptions are up for review…and i’m loving it!
Change is wonderful. It comes with pain and push and perseverance. All of which is worth the trouble, because when the change is about paradigm and seismic shifts, the world dances free!