Pondering on change and adaptation
What to make of the most recent offering from Joe Bastow and Anne Bastow Heraghty (more colloquially, “Siblings Anne and Joe”)? To begin, I cannot recall the last time someone opened with a quote from John C. Calhoun. Were other slavery apologists unavailable for comment? Did Google not identify a less objectionable source?
Moving on. That transitions “carry us from one thing to the next” would seem to be definitional. Likewise, suggesting that “[w]e are defined by the choices we make” is so apparent as to be axiomatic. One waits for the insight (one doubts it is found in the Rush lyric).
A first spark. “Change … teaches us how to adapt.” No. Change is agnostic. It does not care whether we adapt. Adaptation (other than biological) is choice (of course, failure to adapt can have dire consequences, but that doesn’t make it any less a choice). We learn to adapt from having done so in the past. If not, we fumble blindly.
As for the workplace, one weeps at the thought of dozens, hundreds of emails on a daily basis, all the result of technology supposedly “translat[ing] to improved efficiencies.” As for those resistant to change, one notes the condescension in the phrase “We work to exercise patience and offer encouragement with these types.” One wants “these types” to organize and go after the more efficient with such inefficient tools and pitchforks and cudgels.
Space is limited. One is left wondering at a thinly-veiled argument that change, if difficult, can be overcome through application of platitudes (except for our resistant colleagues, who are left behind).
Rather, learning and understanding changes that already have occurred is a better approach.
“Learn from experience,” as they say. As for Calhoun’s “fierce fanaticism,” one recalls that it led to the Civil War. Change, indeed.
CLYDE A. SHUMAN,