The World of Should Be

August 25, 2019

Human existence has changed because we wanted the “world of should be” instead of the “world of is.”  We tinker and improve many things all the time and few things stay the same.

The constant steady improvement is what gets us from discovering that something is round to inventing the wheel from it; then figuring out the axle; then making electric cars – with a few steps in between.

At the same time, we assume that things will never change.  How many times have you heard “it has always been that way”?  No it hasn’t.

You meet someone whose family has been in North America for five generations and then they tell you seriously that they are hyphen German or Italian or whatever.

You know they have nothing in common with the Germany that is there today.  That Germany didn’t even exist 150 years ago; then, it was just a bunch of small states.  Nevertheless, North and South Americans identify as being “German.”

The people who lived in the area that is now Germany were also transitory, coming from the east mostly and slowly migrating west.  A thousand years ago, they were the German speaking Franks.  The Franks, over time, became the French whose Latin became French.  All things change.

The same has happened all over the world.

When you get your DNA analyzed, they will tell you that you have commonalities with people who live in a particular area today.  But remember it is a moving target and those people came from somewhere else and you share their origins, wherever that might have been.

The same is true with politics.  We have seen political parties change considerably on issues.  Some parties come and some go – where are the Whigs today?  Or Social Credit?

Or countries?  We have seen a dozen countries come and go in the part 30 years.  And not just those of the former USSR.  So even countries aren’t permanent.  Without permanence, we have only temporal situations.  So no one’s roots have always been anything.

The most constant thing about humanity is change.  We change our tools; we change our housing; we change our biology; we change the environment we live in.  As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said “Change is the only constant.”

So why do we protest change so much?  And at the same time, we protest the current situation.

Not all changes are for the best, but we should not be afraid of change.  It has made our lives better, longer and, mostly, happier wherever we have wandered.

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