Excuse me while… I chew on this thought for a bit… I may wax philosophical. Things change. The seasons change. The Earth changes. Geological records have proven that the Earth’s surface has changed many times over it’s long life. People change. Throughout history, technology has changed the way humans live, produce and interact with each other. Do you think the emerging democracies could have occurred after the Middle Ages and Renaissance without the printing press and proliferation of ideas through books?
But why then do we so cling to the desire to ‘keep things the same?’ I’ve been wrestling with this idea ever since I can remember. Maybe this explains my love of History. Perhaps humans naturally crave stability because they’ve spent much of their unrecorded and recorded history dealing with the seemingly unpredictable nature of the elements, disease, and natural events. Animals respond to change via natural selection or development of instincts, but we actively try to stop change from happening or build constructs that allow us to thrive despite change.
What would happen if we had a ‘long memory’ for change? Who would build communities or cities on a flood plain or riverbank if they had memory or records of constant floods? How would we deal with social change? Would we nod things off as just a fad that would pass or would we actually try to develop laws or social institutions that were meant to adapt to change? I’ve noticed that politicians rely on people’s limited memory of history in order to push their agendas or to get elected or re-elected into office. Sometimes I lament that we live such mayfly lives. Still, having this memory might actually cause use to become more conservative in our actions. Since we could better predict cycles of events because of our personal memories.
Why people resist change (from the Slow Leadership Site)