“We might say that we were looking for global schemas, symmetries, universal and unchanging laws--and

what we have discovered is the mutable, the ephemeral, the complex.” No matter how childish he may be, Charles Schultz's Linus has an approach to life many mature adults might take to heart. Like many young children, Linus treasures his security blanket more than anything. We each instinctively search for our own security blankets as sources of comfort, such as Ilya Prigogine's "universal and unchanging laws." Linus's blanket represents his universal constant - it never leaves him (for he would not allow it). Much to Linus's discomfort, however, life rarely consists solely of security blanket constants. More often we find how truly "nothing lasts forever." As soon as we come across something we genuinely enjoy (or, on the contrary, hate), ephemerality shows its face, and life throws its signature curveball. But does this make all change negative? No, change prevents stagnation and gives us reason to continue in life. On the other hand, life does not have to consist purely of change - there must be a yinyang equilibrium between change and constant. Just as a child clings tighter to his blanket in stranger situations, we maintain the balance by increasing our own hold on the familiar when life decides to assert its ephemerality. Likewise, when change is less present in life, we comfortably loosen our hold on the familiar. This all is not to say that we should hide from new situations, but only that in light of increased change, we should find something familiar in the new environment so that we can begin to adapt. In this ever-changing, ever-ephemeral world, we should all follow Linus's example by identifying our own personal security blankets and using them as rocks of familiarity amongst seas of variability.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful