Change is a way of life now.
Until fairly recently technology changed very slowly if at all. For hundreds of years travelling just a few miles was a great adventure to the average man and horses or oxen ploughed the land. Indeed the whole Imperial measurement system was based on the operation of ploughing. Even the upheaval of the industrial revolution only meant that populations were concentrated in town. Travelling abroad was the domain of the very rich or great adventurers, as journeys would take months or years, if the traveller returned at all.
Mail provided the only real means of communication.
How things have changed. The farthest countries can be reached in a day. In March this year the terrible Japanese earthquake and tsunami was shown on the BBC news only about an hour after the event. A month later the Royal Wedding in London was watched by two billion people on television and 400 million online. An astonishing one million people, many of who had travelled distances totally impractical a few years ago, lined the route of the wedding procession.
Live conversations with other people all over the world are now possible through mobile phones and through our computers: something that could hardly seem possible just a couple of decades ago. Even science fiction writers didn’t predict this. As an illustration of how things have moved on this article was written in the United Kingdom and distributed by someone in the Philippines a short time after.
But still most people are afraid of change.
In truth we have been largely caught unawares by the rapid developments. We generally still think in the same way as our forebears a hundred years ago. Of course we persuade ourselves we are embracing the changes and we do so more than those who have gone before, but are we really mastering change or are we controlled by it?
Many would say they are not afraid of new developments and to prove it they have the latest television, the newest mobile phone and other up-to-date gadgets. I would argue however that the fear of change could be characterized by a fear of being left behind.
What does that mean? Sure, you have a flashy new high definition-television and everyone admires it. But you are already behind. The newest sets are 3D televisions and you may well be considering buying one even though your existing television is perfectly good. You would not be alone if you did this; two million 3D sets were sold in North America in the first nine months they were available. Were they all really bought to replace decrepit, broken down televisions? I doubt it.
In reality most of these purchasers were likely to be afraid of lagging behind the changes in technology. They were mastered by change.
The values we have had in the past have never changed. We still need to have respect for other people, life cannot be fulfilling unless we make the most of ourselves and technology will never help us find peace in our lives. Everyone still needs words of motivation as much as at any time in the past.
Sadly too many people allow their fear of change to make them forget the basic principles of life. New up to date televisions can cost around £1000 a piece and, as the technology seems to change every year, this can easily be an annual cost. Add to that the new telephones, computers and computer games and the drain on our resources is enormous.
The spread of mass media means that it is even easier for large corporations to persuade you to purchase their products. They will tell you that you will be left behind if you have last years model. And very often you will succumb and buy the new product, even if you cannot afford it. This is how change masters you.
Oddly enough we also fear the changes in our lives. During the last fifty years many in the United Kingdom, for example, felt secure, believing the state would provide for them if things went wrong. But that is now all changing. The money is evaporating and we need to adapt and listen to words of motivation to help us. The reality is coming upon us: we need to rely on ourselves. In truth, this has always been the case but we forgot.
We will be forced to change but that does not stop us being afraid.
In Britain those afraid-of-change are threatening strike action. The pensions and pay structures we always relied upon are under threat. In reality this is simply inevitable change and developments in the rest of the world reflect this too.
We all need some words of motivation to help us adapt and these may help: although things will change, often radically, the principles that have always been important will continue to be so. We all need to understand we are able to cope with the challenges the future will bring and are perfectly able to be the master of the situation. Every one of us can adapt when it is needed and yet stay true to the values and natural laws that still control our lives.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.