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“It is not strange . . . to mistake change for progress.” Millard Fillmore

After President John Taylor died suddenly on July 9, 1850, Fillmore became the 13th President of the United States. The change in leadership also signaled an abrupt political shift. Fillmore had very different views on the slavery issue. Before Taylor’s death, Fillmore told him that, as President of the Senate, he would give his tie-breaking vote to the Compromise of 1850. The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five bills passed in the United States in September 1850, which defused a four-year confrontation between the slave states of the South and the free states of the North regarding the status of territories acquired during the Mexican-American War (1846–1848).

When Fillmore took office, the entire cabinet offered their resignations. Fillmore accepted them all and appointed men who, except for Treasury Secretary Thomas Corwin, favored the Compromise of 1850. When the compromise finally came before both Houses of Congress, it was very watered down. As a result, Fillmore urged Congress to pass the original bill. This move only provoked an enormous battle where “forces for and against slavery fought over every word of the bill.” To Fillmore’s disappointment the bitter battle over the bill crushed public support and President Fillmore announced his support of the Compromise of 1850.

Can you imagine what took place back then? John Taylor is president, suddenly dies and when Millard Fillmore becomes president nearly the entire cabinet resigns because President Fillmore felt compelled to support the Compromise of 1850. How would you feel if you were just elected President only to have no support from your advisors? It’s interesting to note that President Fillmore accepted the resignation of his advisors; he did not try convincing them to stay. That is a scary situation to be in.

President Fillmore’s quote is very true even today. Managing change is not easy. First we need to recognize it for ourselves. Change is inevitable, but the right change sometimes takes being committed to the change. President Fillmore was committed to the Compromise of 1850. If you go learn about the compromise it was a pivotal movement that changed the fabric of our nation.

Change in our lives is inevitable. The way you choose to manage it will change the fabric of yourself. Here are a few ways to help you to manage change:

Logically understand the change. Take all emotion out and just look at the change from the outside.
Make a list of all the pros and cons that make up the change. Remember no emotional lists.
Look at all the positive things that make up the change and identify how you can capitalize on it.
Don’t look back or have regrets…. Move forward.

In conclusion, many people you come across may not believe in your change or concepts to move forward. If you are committed to the change, don’t fight it. You will find those that will join with you once they see how committed you are to the cause.

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