• John-Michael Scurio

*IMO | The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same.


Eureka Springs, 1910
Eureka Springs, 2021

"The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same"


In 1849, this statement was written (in French, of course) by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr.

In French, it reads: "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose"


To understand this statement one needs to first understand the origin.

Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

It means that “while a lot of big changes appear to be happening, the real situation is that nothing has changed much at all."


In Eureka Springs, Arkansas, we desire change, but yet, do we?


Please allow me to explain.


In 1849, during the French Revolution, there was quite a bit of upheaval in French society and in politics.


In 2021, in America, there is quite a bit of upheaval in American society and in politics.


This phrase originally meant that “the huge changes that you often see happening in politics don’t represent real change, and are covering up the fact that the status quo in society tends to remain unchanged."


(I nearly spit out my coffee when I realized this.)


What I adore most about Eureka Springs, is the sheer timelessness. One can step onto a cobblestone street today and imagine a horse drawn carriage in 1849 passing by clicking and clacking on the very same streets that we walk in town.

Circa 1902
2021

"The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same" gets used a lot to describe stuff that appears random in the short term, but follows the same pattern in the long term - like rainfall, sunrises, or stock prices.


A cynical person on either side of politics may well think that the phrase is just as relevant today as it was over one hundred and fifty years ago. I certainly do. (FYI - I've been known to air on the cynical side.)

Eureka Springs, then and now.

As you might have guessed, French society and politics had seen a huge amount of upheaval - and a new president named Napoleon had been elected into office (and would shortly transform the republic into an empire).


I can only imagine that this probably sounded somewhat familiar to Karr, since this was the second time in years that someone named Napoleon was forming a French empire just after a French revolution.


Karr penned the phrase "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose," to express his cynicism that the huge changes sweeping over France were going to lead to a genuine change in the country overall. Ha!


This satirical writer clearly made a statement.

 

"I do want things to change; and yet, I want things to stay the same."

 

As divided as we are, this is the one thing that we all happen to agree upon.

 

Sure, I want to see flying cars in my lifetime, a noble President, economic expansion, raised education standards, low unemployment and a more diverse cabinet but lil'ol'me also has a strong desire to see, and I mean to actually see with my own eyes, the horse-drawn carriage in the photo above, slowly, peacefully galloping down Spring Street with our ancestors perched elegantly in the carriage, adorned in Victorian dress.


The world today is so complicated.

Eureka Springs thinks it's complicated, but it is not.

  • The Country is divided; Eureka is one of the strongest communities in America.

  • The Country is driven by fear; Eureka is driven by love.

  • The Country is confused; Eureka is collaborative.

  • The Country is choosy; Eureka is radically inclusive.

Change is necessary. It is. We all know this. It's the circle of life and we need change to evolve and grow but what's remarkable about life here in Eureka Springs is that amidst so much change, to society, to the world, and to our Country, our little hamlet continues to pretty much, stay the same ... and is that so bad in the big scheme of things?

 

*IMO is a blog-series where I, John-Michael Scurio, am able to express my own personal opinion about some subject or situation in particular. "But what about the opinion of others?" they wonder. "Yeah, that," I reply . . . "well, this specific series isn't about those opinions - just mine. Hence the acronym *IMO. If I opened it all up to all those opinions, I'd need to change the acronym to something else and it probably wouldn't feel as cool, but, hey, that's just my opinion."


Do you want me to have an opinion about something? Ask me: jmscurio@yahoo.com


Please take a moment to check out the different posts in the *IMO blog series on www.iloveureka.com


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