No one likes change. Well, very few people do. And those who do only like it—or more accurately, tolerate it better than most—because they have trained themselves over the course of years to accept it, welcome it and sometimes embrace it.      

On a larger scale, some of the events of last year have forced us to look change in the eye and either accept what’s to come or … brace ourselves for whatever unpleasantness it brings. First, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the first national health care program our country has ever seen. The controversial Obamacare law means big decisions for both businesses and employees and, in some cases, major overhauls to existing benefits plans. Secondly, for the first time in history, a sitting U.S. president came out in support of gay marriage. Then, the Supreme Court jumped into the debate—agreeing to weigh in on two of the five cases seeking marriage equality that hit its desk. The high court will hear arguments for these cases next month. And finally, tragedies such as the Colorado theater shooting, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the Oregon mall shooting and countless other violent crimes across the country have opened up the debate over gun control—and a heated debate it is. 

On all three of these issues, it’s an understatement to say that the country is divided. But the reality is, one of the sides on each issue is going to walk away disappointed—in fact, in the case of Obamacare, that has already happened. 

Although every year brings new and sometimes exciting—but also sometimes unwelcome—changes, 2013 may shape up to be more epic than past years. Whether you’re grappling with one of the above-mentioned hot topics, your personal life takes an unexpected turn or your company faces an unprecedented crisis that requires quick, competent management (this month’s cover story offers advice on crisis management—see Taming the Beast), something—major or minor—is likely to make you take pause and resist. In most cases, it’s human nature.

But as we dive head first into 2013 and all it has to offer, let’s all do our best to accept change, welcome change and even embrace the experience to learn.