Sometimes I think a lot of the problems in the world have to do with the idea of change. That’s not to say that change is a bad thing; rather, changing things in one’s life can go a long way at helping them become happier and more productive. I think the problem is when people try to force change on other people.
No, I’m not making a political statement here, just think of it as a philosophical one.
Last week (and for part of this week as well), we read excerpts from the Dao De Jing as part of Enduring Questions (Which turned out to be a rather interesting class, all things considered). One of the things I drew from the Dao is that trying to control and make the world conform to something you think is best is a bad idea. I’ve found that this is normally true; humans, as a whole, contain a high amount of what I’ll call “psychological inertia”. People, by and large, are very resistant to change in their lives, mainly because they like to live in a sense of normalcy. They can choose to change something in their lives, but that would be just resetting what is considered normal for them. When an outside force (for sake of argument, a well meaning politician) comes in and tries to impart some kind of change on their lives, their reaction… will most likely not be all that pleasant.
As people have a high amount of “psychological inertia”, forcing a change on them is going to meet with resistance. People don’t like when you upset their normal way of life, because they are unfamiliar with it and might have been better off with the original setup than with this new arrangement. I do get a bit flustered if someone moves my stuff without asking me first, because I had everything set up to my specifications and needs. You move my desk, then I’m going to have to take all my stuff like my computer, my various papers and books, my Groucho Marx mousepad, my little stuffed elephant, my mustache and Doctor Who mugs, my girlfriend’s picture, and a bunch of other stuff and move it to this new location. As part of a fraternity, and just going to college in general, I will have to do something like this whenever we change rooms, but that’s different as I am choosing to change locations on my own, and someone else isn’t doing the moving for me without my expressed permission.
Forcing people to change is bad. The better alternative is to introduce whatever it is you want to change, and then let those that are the target of change adjust to it at their own speed. Think of it like the weather; as soon as the temperature drops below 50 you don’t just throw on every single heavy coat and pair of mittens you can find. No, you put on a sweater and maybe some longer pants, and continue to apply heavier clothing as the weather gradually gets colder (same rule in reverse for when it gets warmer). You must allow people to adjust and change themselves instead of trying to mold them to your own specifications, and you must respect and modify your views whenever people start to get angry or point out the flaws in your suggestion.
I admit to getting a little philosophical here, but I am a Wabash Man. I’m sure if I went to any other school (*cough*DePauw*cough*) I most likely wouldn’t be thinking too much on change and just going on with my life. But since we are actively encouraged to think and question the normality of the world, I feel a bit more challenged as I go through my life.
So for any people reading this that haven’t made up your minds about Wabash, come here so you can think and expand your intelligence and reasoning.
Also, Space Marines. And cool Classics stuff.