Changing Times

Epiphanies, upheaval, chaos, revolution, sacred traditions under fire ….our world both near and far is reacting normally or erratically depending on your point of view. Without getting particular I have been studying just the process these last few weeks. Some can’t wait for it and others abhor it. Regardless, change is a fact of life. 

Here in Flalaland, as we all grow older our ideas become more entrenched. We have broken in the shoes of life and they feel pretty comfy. We embrace the good old days in song, dress and behavior. We reveled the other night that we never wore helmets biking, stood on the arm rest while driving with our parents and walked just about everywhere without fear of a pervert or stray bullet. All wonderful.

But change is evident everywhere. We are able to fly anywhere. Our world population has grown from 3.7 billion to over 8 billion in 50 years. Companies and countries have come and gone. In America we have gone from cute Cape Cods to mega mansions. The information age is forty years old and we have seen the unimaginable. When you put a bunch of smart entrepreneurial people together you see a new version in every walk of life. 

The New World is gut wrenching for some more than others. Why? It is more likely than not hard wired into us. Our bodies and brains have worked out a system to survive. It is called homeostasis that keeps everything in balance. Anything alien is considered a threat. We also are tribal whether it be family or nationality. We are wary of new arrivals and how they might alter our pecking order.  What does it do to our self esteem ? Crazy? I am not sure it is. 

There is a fascinating concept of inertia. Let’s say you smoke, drink or are overweight. You have become very used to living that

way. You know it probably is not good for you but you keep at it. To do something different is going to take a lot of work. You might even say you like your life. Nobody is going to tell me what to do. It has worked for me for a long long time. I am doing fine. Are you?

Many of us feel we are not doing fine. Self help books have tripled in numbers annually for the last 5 years. So we have the enigma of despising change and yet embracing it a the same time. We want to be open and welcoming but it scares the crap out of us. Hmmm.

I wonder about myself. Here in Flalaland we have been treated to new arrivals on pretty much a non stop basis for the last couple of years. Our club is collegial and really not that stuffy. It has an air of gentility as contrary to snobbishness. People are decent types and not gaudy. But the new folk? 

There is a silly thing called a dress code. Collared shirts tucked in and no hats in the clubhouse for the guys. No jeans in dining rooms and flip flops are frowned upon. Some of you might take this as typical of old fart fuddy duddies. I look at it as a tradition of sorts. You say what is wrong with a tee shirt or dress shirts hanging out? You want to bring us into the 21st century. I am trying real hard but it ain’t easy. 

I only bring this all up to demonstrate the theory. First is we are tribal. Those interlopers might ruin the place. The second is wondering if I and others are being unreasonable. Geez Louise I have worn the same type of clothes for a long time. Am I suffering from inertia or do I have a just argument? Dunno.

You could take the same overlay of thought as it relates to politics, religion, feminism, chauvinism, immigration, and even family life. I have changed my stripes on so many things over my lifetime I wonder if I am a revolutionary or just someone who can’t make up his mind? When I pose an alternate solution people recoil. And here is where it gets good. 

If I come to you with a new idea or method aren’t I really telling you that you are wrong? This totally new way of doings things says for all these years you have been at fault. I am threatening your authenticity or competency. The only way you can comply is by changing or eating crow. Yikes, that sounds heavy duty. Can a stupid thing called compromise heal that wound of defeat?

My argument about term limits is simple. If you have been in the same spot in government for 30-50 years is it possible to have an original thought? When we construct the bastions of partisanship doesn’t it become solely a fight of egos rather than ideology. The old story of the work of Congress should get done in the center doesn’t work today. Our country is and has changed drastically in so many ways. Probably a lot more for the better than the worse but no one will admit that. Have we adapted or dare I use the word “change” one more time?

Look at the things we have to fix. Immigration and education to name two. On face value both are a mess. It would require sea changes to solve either one. Inertia? You bet. Threats to reputations, expertise, and status? Ha! Is it all so simple or irretrievably complex?

Disney just replaced their CEO with a retread who had actually recommended him in the first place. Meta and Zuckerberg are incredibly off message. Amazon overbuilt. Boeing is almost FUBAR. 

The stockholders are demanding change. Whether it is a corporation or a country or even a church aren’t we all owners of a sort. Changing Times? You bet. Are we keeping up? You tell me.

 

As always

Ted The Great.

Factoids:

Change done right gives people hope. It creates opportunity. Most of all there is a growth in us that is hard to imagine. It’s the best drug of all.

Change means coming out of your cocoon. It is scary. First steps are the hardest. Vulnerability How did you or do you feel about the following?

1.       Starting a new fantastic job

2.       Getting married

3.       Buying a house/relocating

4.       Becoming a parent

Stressful but cool!  The fine line between scary and exciting is palpable.

The starting point of change is admitting or defining the problem. A gradual, well structured plan will win out over the sledge hammer approach every time.

4 thoughts on “Changing Times

  1. Another Ted winner. I know what I have – change to the unknown is a threat – having an agreed goal gives change a value. PK

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