Things Have Changed

There used to be a time when a newspaper delivered to the front yard was a welcomed arrival. Now it’s unexpected, unwanted, and unclaimed. The dew soaked newsprint wrapped in a plastic bag is ripe for the trashcan that is parked five feet away. Long gone are the days that we stand by our front doors in our bathrobes, holding our coffee cups, awaiting last night’s news in the morning post. The news comes differently now. Sometimes it’s welcomed but usually as cozy reminder of the way things used to be. Nowadays our news must be packaged differently. We get a notification in real time. We click the link for a summary. If we want more details, we tune in at 5pm, 6pm, 10pm or 11pm (if we can wait that long).

The way we communicate has changed. We once called a loved-one to see how they are doing. Now our morning greetings and semi-regular wellness checks are transmitted through text messages that can be replied to at-will, delayed, left on “unread”, or ignored entirely.

Remember when you used to compile a grocery list? You might poll family members to gather requests for favorite treats or specific toiletries. If you’re like me, you might even invite the kids to join you on a shopping trip. It was always a little more expensive, but the time together had a very special value of its own. Now your options include wish lists, virtual shopping carts, pick-up times, or delivery preferences.

How about when you’d wait until your tires were low to get air? Or when your engine would run rough before you got a tune up? Now onboard diagnostics detect anomalies and deficiencies. The “idiot lights” in cars are now well-informed and play critical rolls in our driving experience.

When you stop long enough to look around, you realize the the big changes all started with small ideas. The visions for something better evolved into drafts and plans and conversations and negotiations. Quickly things change and the ability to remember how the changes occurred becomes blurred and complicated.

Even conservative thought is buried by progressive intent. When we say the world is rapidly changing, it is only because of the need to improve. Our experiences are shared by many. The movers put distance between themselves and their starting points. They hit their targets because they are focused on their goals. But those who don’t move–those who are content in the world around them–make no progress. Instead they embrace the old and resist the change. We’ve had two very distinct kinds of characters playing absolute roles in an unforgiving world.

Progress is measured by passion and levels of determination. Things that were once thought impossible have been reassessed as feasible. A young entrepreneur I know named her business “From We Can’t 2 We Can.” No one can ever make a claim that she is not passionate. She makes things happen when others have lost focus of their resources. She is grasping a radically different characteristic of our culture.

Innovators change the world. Brief trials and errors were the precursors to either successes and failures. Decisions were made, in part, by individuals with traditional motives (money, fame, or both). We are living in a new age–an Age of Newness. We are motivated by efficiency and satisfaction. The feeling that you get when you buy something new is euphoric, not because it is better than anyone else’s or better than what you’ve had before. We enjoy our conquests because they represent a new way of doing things.

It is unlikely that you’ll subscribe to a newspaper ever again. It’s not probable that you’ll resume weekly trips to the grocery store to restock your cabinets. And once you’ve grown accustomed to the luxuries of a technologically advanced automobile, the desire to drive an ol’ fashioned car is a mere novelty.

Our lives improve because of our experiences. We try new things and abandoned the unpleasantries. Be on the lookout for the next best thing. You might not enjoy it, but you already know that once the masses experience it, the old ways will disappear.

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