274 – What to Change, When to Change

When you first walk into a new situation, don’t rush to repair every flaw you find. There could be a very good reason things are done how they are. Even if things need to change, you wouldn’t know the deep reasons why or how at first glance, or second or fifth glance. It takes time to understand things older than we are.

And yet, when you have been in a situation for a good, long while and a newcomer shows up, don’t be quick to silence the complaints about your old ways. Old and new wine need old and new wine skins, respectively. But, humanity is greater than wine and its skin. As much as we can, it demonstrates our maturity and strength to embrace the new, no matter how old we get.

We show our potential when we embrace both long-standing traditions and the ongoing need to climb, grow, and improve. Tradition and invention form a crossroads of two-way streets. This crossroads hosts heavy traffic and the only things that always deserve to have things their way all the time are the four signs that read “STOP”.

Societies break down when older and younger generations are at odds. The greater burden falls on the generation that has lived more years with which anyone can seek wisdom; the more mature generation is whichever of the two that chooses to do the more mature thing first. While any conflict always rests its blame at the older and should-be more responsible leaders, any conflict between generations is a threat to an entire society. This, unfortunately describes most societies today.

There cannot be reconciliation between older and younger generations as long as we think that the only right age happens to be whatever age happens to be our own. Thriving requires that we embrace both the young ways and the old.

So, in your own working sphere, embrace both. You have room to improve, just like everyone else. Enjoy hearing, seeing, and tolerating complaints about your problems as much as you enjoy witnessing problems that you can’t yet fix. We can’t help any situation that we don’t already love. Wanting tomorrow doesn’t require hating yesterday. So, enjoy today.