In last week’s blog, I mentioned almost as a post script that one of my teachers (an economics professor) once said that CHANGE was the most feared word in our vocabulary. I thought it over and during the intervening years have discovered it to be the truth—the truth as I have found it.
We fear change because we are creatures of habit. Once we have established a habit or a point of view, it almost becomes impossible to change. We are more comfortable with what we know than with what we don’t know.
I also mentioned in the last blog about having very little success in convincing anyone on Linkedin that some of my tips on writing had any validity. What I got in return were statements where people stridently defended their habits, attitudes and points of view tooth and nail. I was really surprised because these people are much younger than I am and I gave up fighting change years ago.
I know several people, good friends really, who are gay and two are couples who have been together for well over 30 years. They are lifelong Republicans, whom we all know have never been a friend to gays. I presume their parents were Republicans and they just never changed even though the Democrats are responsible for 99% of all social change in this country. I remain very good friends with all of them but trying to get them to change to become a Democrat would be tantamount to the ancient alchemists trying to change iron into gold. So, I do not try. We are still great friends though.
I had two very good friends Charles and Bill, who are no longer with us. One was an accountant with a very large construction company. The other was a big real estate agent. Both were quite successful and made good salaries. However, in the 1980s computers came into full-fledged being. Suddenly old dogs like me were trying to find out how to keep our heads afloat in this new world of technology.
Charles, the accountant, was the first to feel the shockwave. His company informed everyone in the accounting department that they were changing over to computerized accounting. The department head stated that all of the accounting team needed to learn the computer way of doing things. Charles just wouldn’t change over. He said he knew he was more accurate than a computer. Bottom line, after many, many years at this firm, he lost his job—because he wouldn’t CHANGE. He ended up drinking martinis at home wondering what went wrong in his life.
Bill, the real estate friend, was told that he would have to get computer savvy because all the multiple listings for his city were going to be computerized. He was told to take courses in data processing. He claimed with his Rolodex he was faster at finding multiple listings than a computer. He lost his job and ended up a greeter at Walmart.
I have tried to change over the years and at least make an effort to keep up with change. Many times, I agree, it isn’t the easy way. But change is inevitable. If we don’t change, we stagnate. I am still amazed at those young people on Linkedin who are so adamant about resisting change in the writing field. I have not fought change and am still writing and publishing books. So CHANGE is a good thing. Welcome it. Don’t fight it.
See you next blog when we discuss the three types of sentences that may fall out of our mouths or onto a piece of paper or a computer screen.