Ben Franklin had it wrong

“Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes, turn and face the strain”
— David Bowie

“Change changing places, root yourself to the ground; word to the wise, well you get what’s coming; one word can bring you round: changes”
— Yes

When I was in grad school, I once wrote this in a paper for class.  (It’s been a long time since grad school, so I’m paraphrasing a little here.)

“Ben Franklin had it wrong.  There are not two sure things in life; there are three: death, taxes, and change.”

My professor loved this; in fact, he told me he might make use of this quote himself.

The fact is, change is inevitable (except, as the old joke goes, from a vending machine).  Change is going to happen.  A lot of people say how much they don’t like change, and a lot of people are resistant to change.

Let me say it again: change is going to happen.

I understand that people don’t like change — heck, I often don’t like it myself.  But being resistant to change is futile.  Change is like dying — it’s going to happen sooner or later, and there’s not a thing you can do about it.

I really think that the people who are the most successful in life are those who accept and adapt to change (whether they like it or not) — roll with the punches, if you will.  This is why I, as a technologist, need to keep up with technological trends.  As much fun as I had working with Windows 3.1, OS/2, or Pascal, that knowledge does me almost no good today.  I’ve practically made a career out of being able to adapt to my environment; it’s what has allowed me to survive in some of my working environments for so long.

Examples of adapting to change are everywhere.  Advancements and adjustments in knowledge about the changing world around us leads to improvements in science, engineering, and medicine.  An aging pitcher who can no longer rely on his fastball (as a Yankee fan, CC Sabathia comes to mind) adapts by throwing more effective cutters or breaking pitches.  People change their attitudes, behaviors, beliefs, and so on.

Think about it.  Where would we be if change didn’t exist?  We’d probably still be living out of caves and hunting for food with wooden spears.

Take a look at what’s coming down the pipe.  You might not like it.  But if you want to survive, most likely your best bet is to accept it, deal with it, and move on.

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