I am amazed by the speed of change. Whither it is technology, policy,
procedures or just society it seems to be faster than the speed of light yet
our adaptation to the change may not be. I have seen the results of both the
“learner” and the “learned”. The learner adapts, embraces and then runs with
the ball. The learned does not seem to see the need for change. The old ways
were just fine.
A friend of mine is a “learned”. He scoffs at cell phones, cable TV,
computers and the like. He reads a newspaper delivered to his home every day
and pays 3 times the price for that subscription. Don’t mention Google to him
because he is above all that. He looks down on the “learners” because they
don’t fit in his comfortable world. He uses maps, the paper kind, and looks
things up in the dictionary and reference books. That works for him. The
problem I find is a lack of communication with others due to his familiarity of
change. A few years back his company gave him a fax machine. He was having
trouble with it and called me to ask if I would send him a fax so he could
check out his machine. I had to tell him it’s been years since I owned a fax
machine. Shortly thereafter his company tried to get him a computer but he
refused because he had a fax machine. I guess he didn’t see the difference. To
him Wi-Fi is a mystery, Bluetooth is voodoo and the internet is a terror. As a
“learned” he is beautifully equipped in a world that no longer exist.
I want to consider myself a “learner” but there are times I do find
myself slipping into the “learned” attitude. I get comfortable or familiar with
my old cell phone and don’t see the need for an upgrade. At times I catch
myself thinking the way we were doing things was fine so why change them. I
come to the realization my latest computer program is 10 years old and now not
as compatible with other programs it interacts with and I wonder how did that
happen. Sometimes in order to be a “learner” we need to be educated as to why
the change needs to take place.
I look back with a fond memory of owning a 35MM camera with film,
processed Kodachrome slides and photos. I look back and see my old stereo
system with LPs, then cassettes and CDs. I look back at landlines with those
cool pushbutton phones. I look back at walking into a bank and a store and doing
business face to face with a person. I look back and realize that as a
“learner” I have combined all those things into a small device I can hold in my
hand and I like the convenience of that.
So when change presents itself make an attempt to embrace it. Be a
“learner”! Should that not work out you can easily prepare to become a
“learned” and be equipped to live in a world that no longer exist. I want to
send out my thanks to Eric Hoffer for opening my eyes and challenging me to be
a learner. I am doing my best.