Resistance to Change LO24698

From: Jan Lelie (
Date: 05/28/00

Replying to LO24679 --

Dear Richard and fellow improvers of the travelling kind,

Thank you kindly for your question. The first thought i had, on reading
your addition to my own reply and also to your question was: "do i detect
resistance to change, ?;-)". You asked: "what does this mean for me?" What
do you mean? Who is responsible, %-D? Why i replied in this way? What's
the point? How did i do it? But off course, i thought then, You perfectly
know what this means to me: it means that You do exist - as if i didn't
know - in flesh and blood and are not a machine that simply processes
messages in a complicated way. Thank You for being there.

- I've rewritten this mail five times. I suppose it is not very clear now.


The message was a-singing-in-the-rain. I did it on purpose. And i had four
main reasons:

1. (resistance to) changing feels to me one and the same process and all
of the phenomena on intentional change are self-referential

2. Replying to my own message seemed to illustrated a paradox and conveyed
the idea of answering to myself through the LO-list. Or the other way

3. highlighting the use of re (again), a source of re-sistance and meaning
of words

4. Judy sent me a mail were she said she didn't want to do reworking
(resistance!) and i wanted to show that reworking can be made meaningful.

5. I did it four fun.

1. Every movement of physical matter follows the so called "path of the
least action" (also or more commonly called "the law of the least effort"
or the "law of the least resistance", but that is what the name is called,
mind you). It seems that everything "knows" the trajectory to move itself
along, as if action and reaction balances out, acting out a natural path.
I add friction to inertia to get resistance. From the apple falling from
the tree to a cursor moving across the screen or an electron crossing the
universe. We can not have the one - motion - without the other -

I think that everything that matters to us, also follows a similar path:
our feelings and thoughts guide our acts, acts and reacts balancing each
other, showing resistance. Our emotions drive us. And since we have
emotions, we also have emotions, feelings on resistance. Some we like, the
resistances that enable us to walk, some we do not like. Then we start
thinking about ways to reduce unwanted resistance in acheiving our goals -
or the friction on the road to our destination, our calling or being
called, the intentional change we believe in -, we project these on others
and try to convince these others not to resist and thereby generate
resistance. "Go with the flow", we must re-learn, accept it the way it
goes, so it goes. Perhaps because we seem to have a self-conscious and
thanks to our memories we can time-delay the feedback on what matters to
us more easily than ordinary matter can. This generates the whole
discipline of systems thinking. It doesn't sound very coherent i'm afraid.

2. Referring, replying, recreating my own message seemed to illustrated
this system of time delayed feedback. I also suggested in another message
that i felt like writing to a virtual Turing-type machine (typing
machine?) that replied to my messages by taking them apart, adding and
deleting parts and feedbacking them after a time delay. When reading my
original reply it occured to me that this could be made self-referential
by creating a reply to that message and murdering it. Remember the
murderer of change? Taking out the re was to murder the murderer and the
message. Resending it as a reply to my own message made it
self-referential and i was curious on your response: would you reject it?
Publish it? Would there be a reaction at all? Is there anybody out there?
On the same thought i thought that adding re would also help. Removing re
from reacting gets acting. Adding re to acting begets reacting. But
somehow the processes are not mirror-like transformations. Removing re
from removing is not the same as moving re to moving. "Action equals
(minus) reaction" doesn't equal "reaction equals (minus) action". Do we
have here a source of mental models? Perhaps. Just because we do have a
paradox here. Who would answer his own questions? Only the rethorical
prophet who believes he doesn't believe himself. Can you improve your own

3. "re" plays a part in the processes of making (fer = faire = make) and
remaking (yes, refering!) action. Re seems highly self re-ferential* and
the source of re-sistance, re-action, re-volution, re-ply and
re-sponsability. So deleting re from the first reply and adding re were
possible seemed an appropriate way to recreate - or murder, to create one
has to destroy - the message and see were the resistance would build up.
And after all, i like word play, because it shows that i'm the boss, the
master, the leader.

4. Teamlearning: let the ideas bounce and rebounce, flect and reflect. The
best way to learn about yourself is to talk to others, to listen to their
replies and see what moves you. So sometimes i get mail from others, like
from Judy, and i like to apply the ideas from these messages. She said she
hates reworking. Reworking seemed to me a good idea, - Warning: i also
think that inventing the wheel and re-inventing the wheel is a good idea.
The only way to understand a wheel better is to re-invent one.The most
valuable lesson i've learned is: give people the opportunity to learn what
you have learned. I hesitate to tell people what to do, i'm not a very
good consultant, i try to let them tell their stories and then re-think
them. It is not very efficient, at first, but seems to be affective* in
the long run. The very long run, that is :end of warninG -.

5. It is just word play. Words about words are about words.

I've rewritten this mail five times. I suppose it is not very clear now.
Also i have to give some attention to a very tricky issue in the school of
my children - were i'm chairing the school committee of the parents.

Rick, thanks again,


Richard Karash wrote:

> OK, Jan... I notice you removed the "re" from words that had it. Thus
> "resistance" became " sistence."
> Then you added "re-" to some other words. So "what moves or matters..."
> became "what re-moves or re-matters..."
> Now, please tell us what this means for you!

[Host's Note: Thanks, Jan, for the explanation! ..Rick]

Drs J.C. Lelie CPIM (Jan)
LOGISENS  - Sparring Partner in Logistical Development
mind@work - est. 1998 - Group Decision Process Support
Tel.: (+ 31) (0)70 3243475 or car: (+ 31)(0)65 4685114 and/or
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