Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Adapt



Blink:
“Life is change; growth is optional.” – Peter Watson (Astrologer)

Read On:
Change is a topic I often post about – rapid as everyone claims or slow and gradual?

Saturday morning I read a post (Will You Be Ready?) from one of my favorite bloggers, Tanveer Naseer, a leadership coach from Montreal.  Tanveer had the opportunity recently to make a commencement speech at a regional high school.  His speech addressed how this generation of students, the next wave, has grown up in a world where change not only has been grand in size, but great in speed.  Consequently, change is a new constant, quoting Tanveer.

Later in the weekend I visited the National Constitutional Center here in Philadelphia to view the extraordinary exhibit “The 1968 Exhibit.”  Let me try and summarize what happened back in 1968.  Our country was overwhelmed by the war in Vietnam; struggling with civil rights, women’s lib, and migrant workers rights (Cesar Chavez); experiencing a new culture of drugs, rock & roll and sex; witnessed the assassinations of MLK, RFK as well as riots in Chicago during the Democratic Convention.  I was a teenager back then.  I remember it all very clearly, turbulent times, except I was too engrossed by Major League Baseball, the Year of the Pitcher.

After viewing the exhibit I asked myself what is different about the change we witnessed back in 1968 compared to the students Tanveer addressed in Montreal.  Have they witnessed change in the last five years, greater than what I witnessed back in 1968?  I concluded: change is change; change is a constant in everyone’s life, whether it is rapid or slow and gradual.  As I stated in my blink: “Life is change; growth is optional.”  If your goal is to grow, the key will be to adapt!  

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin



4 comments:

  1. I was with you Jim during the Summer of '68 and I agree with your take on this point. However I would add that The World Changed several times due to events in our lifetime. JFK assasinination changed everthing as did Vietnam and how the people changed the War. Watergate and Gov't involvement in our lives changed us once again. Later the creation of the Internet was a monumental change in this world and of course 911 was perhaps was as the cause of so many changes of Freedom Ever. I submit to you that the graduates of Today's high schools should take time to reflect and hope that their world Adapts better than ours.

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  2. Hi, Jimmy. I was a student at Temple U during the period you discussed and was an investigative reporter for the university's alternative paper The Temple Free Press. I think that period was my change vaccination. In the early seventies I started my marketing career on an Underwood typewriter and have evolved to the front lines of inbound marketing. I just wrote a blog post for a client about fear of change -- posted last evening. Perhaps the evolution of the species will include a passion to seek out the new without fear.

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  3. Seems to me that the speed of change is a function of how intensity of the pain, how visible it is, and to how many. That era had Kronkite giving it to us across the nation - there was no hiding from the pain.

    We've grown numb, to some extent. The media now, instead of black and white footage of the raw experience, has polished the "embedded reporting" into a new type of reality TV.

    ...pain not felt, visibility not there...

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  4. Being a child of the South, I observed first hand much of the turmoil. My mother was/is a bleeding heart liberal and made sure that I was exposed, either in person or via television or newspaper news. I was probably the most well informed and liberal child in my 3rd grade class!

    My takeaway is the same as Andrew's... there was a lot of pain in those days. I honestly think it started with the assisination of JFK and ran downhill through the 60's with Vietnam, protests, the assination of MLK, burning bras (although I am eternally thankful to the women who came before me, paving the way for my success!), and so on. All that pain burned the change into my brain and my heart.

    The changes that are happening now are largely benign: bigger and better tv's, smartphones, fuel efficient vehicles, and so forth. Gen X and Gen Y expect them and don't even blink an eye.

    My favorite quote: Change is inevitable. Except from a vending machine!

    Karin Thrift

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