Concept: Cyclical change and permanent change
One of the key things to understand about the universe is that it is ever-changing. The only truly everlasting tradition is that times must, and always do, change. Are there different forms of change? As it turns out, there are two kinds of change.
The first form of change is cyclical. This is when things go up, then down, then back up again…like the seasons or the stock market. It’s reasonably predictable. One can safely assume that winter will follow autumn. You can also assume that after a crash in the stock market, there will be a rise. The exact timing or intensity of it might be unknown, but it will happen. Nobody predicts cyclical change perfectly, but there are people who make money by predicting it better than others, like meteorologists and stock brokers. The key to predicting it is to understand the history of the cycle in the past (inductive reasoning) and the variables that affect the cycle’s timing and magnitude (deductive reasoning). More on inductive and deductive reasoning later.
There are major changes that are pretty much permanent, like the internet. Barring a major, worldwide catastrophe involving comets or aliens or mad scientists, the internet isn’t going anywhere. Neither are antibiotics, aerodynamics, the wheel, television, indoor plumbing, Ziploc® bags, and thousands of other great ideas. These ideas are around to stay as integrated parts of our society.
Predicting permanent change is almost impossible. Nobody saw the wheel coming, until one day an eccentric tribe member was pushing a cart down the path instead of carrying everything on his back.
Insert picture of a tribal man rolling a cart while other tribe members watch him.
Predicting how people will react to permanent change is also absurd. When the telephone was invented, some people worried that there would never be a face-to-face conversation again.
Rebelling for too long against change that might be permanent is just plain foolish. People who play it safe when it comes to change are often worse off, because they have missed out on the benefits of a new idea for far longer then they should have. (Like how your Mom finally got a cell phone.)
If you can get yourself to the point where you can make reasonable predictions as to which kind of change is occurring, then you can make better decisions as to what to do now in your life. And if you find yourself completely surprised by change, you can choose whether to fight against it or flow with it.