Catalyst: Agent for Change

How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress. ~ Niels Bohr

catalysis – An action between two or more persons or forces, initiated by an agent {CATALYST} that itself remains unaffected by the action. [Origin: Greek katalusis, dissolution, from katalūein, to dissolve : kata-, intensive pref.; see cata- + lūein, to loosen; see leu- in Indo-European roots.]

I was thinking that I liked the idea of being a catalyst, you know an agent for change. But I am not sure that it is actually possible to be such an agent and truly remain unaffected by the action – I suppose I am to Jungian to accept that, so now I am not sure if I like the idea of being a catalyst after all. I mean, affecting change in all that surrounds you and remaining unchanged? Meh… no thanks.

Still, to be a catalyst is tempting… “A catalyst is not consumed by the reaction itself. The catalyst may participate in multiple chemical transformations. Catalysts that speed the reaction are called positive catalysts. Catalysts that slow down the reaction are called negative catalysts or inhibitors. Substances that increase the activity of catalysts are called promoters and substances that deactivate catalysts are called catalytic poisons.” Personally, I am looking for a promoter and hoping to eliminate the catalytic poisons. [The positive and negative aspects are both required in certain times and places, so I am down with those.] Remaining unconsumed is probably for the best.

In the following ways I act as a catalyst: I am a catalyst for change among my friends; I am a catalyst for productivity in reticent adolescents; I am a party catalyst (best served with Patron – or maybe not.) However, in all of these interactions – though I remain fundamentally the same – I am changed.  I would like to actually investigate whether or not it is actually totally possible that something can act as a catalyst [a reactive agent] and not somehow be different. I mean if nothing else there would have to be a temporal change, right? So there. That is different. Right? Not to mention that the etymology of the word indicates that it comes from ‘dissolution’ or to dissolve… shit – that is the ultimate transformation, no?

Semantics? Probably. But I like the idea that people have acted as agents of change for me – and to think that they remain unchanged from this? I wonder. I suppose it comes back to the philosophical muse/ruse surround the existence of the unobserved. Does something exist if it is not observed [read = validated]? The perfect paradox, right? Maybe… but I subscribe to the idea of quantum entanglement: that it’s possible to link together two quantum particles – photons of light or atoms, for example – in a special way that makes them effectively two parts of the same entity. You can then separate them as far as you like, and a change in one is instantly reflected in the other.”

Inextricable linkages.

Like it Centurion, like it.

Consider the myriad ways we might affect people on a daily basis and not realize it; the smile at the guy counting passengers as they get on the ferry… did it make a difference in his day? The weird look rendered to the guy who cut in line at the coffee shop – changed? I think so. I don’t know so, but I think so. And in my not knowing, am I unchanged? I could have frowned I could have cursed, would it make a difference? I like to think so. I know I have been catalyzed by things which will never be aware of the change they precipitated in me specifically. But their presence at any given moment in time set them on a course that is different than the one they would have been on had they not been there at precisely the moment I interacted with them. They are out there for a reason – we all are. Either way, I see a great branding opportunity here:

CATALYST: Agent for Change

I’d buy the t-shirt.


About Amanda

I am repatriating expatriate trying to work it all out. Well, to work some of it out anyhow. I am writing here for sanity, focus and general over-sharing.
This entry was posted in Life, Perception, Philosophical Underpinnings, Relationships and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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