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 didnât 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.Â
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…