The Challenge of Change
by Justin Chesak | Gamma Iota (Alumni) – ΚΚΨ, University of New Mexico
ΚΚΨ National Chapter Field Representative
As humans we are hardwired to appreciate the familiar, and for many when that familiar routine is disrupted it can be met with animosity, fear and an unwillingness to change.
It can also be met with excitement and positivity even when the outcome is uncertain. This is true in all aspects of life, not only in Kappa Kappa Psi but in your professional and personal lives as well. But why? Why do we let change have a negative impact on our attitudes not only as brothers, but also as friends, employees, and people?
On chapter visits this is commonly identified as a problem and one that brother’s will likely encounter at some point in their time as an active member and almost certainly in other aspects of life. Typically this scenario manifests itself in the phrase “this is how it’s always been”. As one chapter member put it the “older active members and alumni” are often the ones to say that. We become so accustomed to how something is done that we may often fail to embrace the possibility of something different, even if that is possibly a better option. In Kappa Kappa Psi, and certainly in life, change is constant. While this change may be beyond our control, we can control our attitudes, our response, and how we view it. Our time in Kappa Kappa Psi is far too short to get side tracked by something being different simply because we like the way things are, especially if we do not know what the outcome will be.
At the end of the day the values that matter in our fraternity such as the pillars (Musicianship, Leadership and Service) will remain constant. Other things will certainly change in our endeavors to exemplify those values. Whether it’s changing how chapter meetings are run, the fundraisers that the chapter does, or even more drastic changes such as when the chapter holds elections or how many officers you have, very few things are permanent. Where chapter members often get stuck is in on whether the change will improve the chapter. Ultimately I can say without a doubt that members being unwilling to change and meeting it with animosity often creates a bigger problem than what the change could have caused.
Ultimately one of the hardest changes to adapt to in the fraternity is what happens when you are no longer a chapter officer or an active member and have joined the ranks of the alumni (Welcome to the club!). I can personally say this is something that I struggled with initially. The notion that the group that you’ve invested time and energy in could go in a completely different direction (for better or worse) is a tough pill to swallow for many brothers, and the urge to speak-up about those undesired changes can be tempting. However even alumni just trying to help, can be perceived unfavorably by the chapter for not being agreeable to change.
Whether it is the changes in the fraternity such as the Road to Wisdom, the changes in our band program such as a new Director of Bands, or the changes that happen in life such as getting a new job or moving away for college we will constantly face change. Approaching change with optimism and embracing it as a new possibility is what it may take to overcome the challenges that change brings. It is not lost on me that as I write this I am a few months away from some new possibilities in my own life, and while I am uncertain about the future, the possibilities are as exciting as being CFR’s has been to me and hopefully to the next CFR! Until then I look forward to finishing out my last semester and I hope to see you at district convention soon!