We ran out of toothpaste last week, a rare occurrence because I’m usually quite organised and always have « spares » of the stuff we use every day – you know, shower gel, washing up liquid, that sort of thing. Fortunately, I had a travel-sized tube in my wash bag. We had to resort to using that.
So when I trucked off on the weekly shop, I bought some more. I just got our usual brand. Well, I thought I had.
« Why did you buy different Toothpaste? » was the howl I was greeted with the following morning. Actually, I didn’t, I said, I think if you look closely you’ll see it’s the usual brand…
And it was and, then again, it wasn’t. You see, the manufacturers, in their wisdom, had brought out a new version of our old favourite. A new and improved version apparently. According to whom, I’d like to know? Hmmm… Who decided the old formula wasn’t good enough anymore and decided to mess with it and turn it into something totally unrecognisable from the original version? No one in our house, that’s for sure. Bet it was some executive in some big glass corner office who wanted to shake things up a bit.
Why is it some people feel the need to change for change’s sake? Have they not heard of « if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? » But then I suppose there’s the flip side of the coin that asks why, when things are clearly not right, does no one make the effort to change them for the better?
Or is it we’re just not satisfied either way? Do we just want everything to stay the same? Are we all fundamentally resistant to change?
There’s comfort in familiarity you see. We like things we understand, that we can rely on. We don’t really like it when things change. It unsettles us and makes us feel vulnerable and uncertain. So we often just trundle along in the same old way doing the same old things and that seems to work for certain people.
And there’s always the argument that if it isn’t broken, then there’s no need to fix it. Things that work perfectly well as they are have no need for change. I understand the desire to have a new and updated « 3.0 » version of something that’s been around for a while, but I really don’t see why we constantly feel the need to « improve » things that are pretty much perfect as they are. I suppose the perfect example of this is the logo for a famous cola company; their trademark script haven’t changed since 1887.
The only problem arises when that familiarity turns into contempt; when we start to take too much for granted and then suddenly, we’re surrounded by disharmony and discontent and that’s not a good outcome for anyone.
I’m on the fence on this one. I like change, but only if I feel like I’ve got a certain amount of control. What I find more difficult is when people who think they know better than me decide to make changes on my behalf and I have no choice but to go along with them. It’s the feeling of not knowing that I don’t like. But then I’m a bit of a control freak so I guess that’s never going to change.
What I do know, however, is that I’d really like to chat to the person who decided to change our toothpaste. Bet he doesn’t like the new flavour any more than we do.