It ‘s up to us to decide what change we go along with and what we resist.
A few years ago the leaders at my kids’ primary school got excited about their new facebook page and were racing round snapping pics of our cherubs for online.
My husband and I stood up, ‘Hang on a minute! What about our kids’ digital identity, don’t they get a say?’ At that time there were no images of our children online. We believed it was up to them when they’re older to decide how they want to appear to the world.
Turns out this wasn’t a common view. The principal hadn’t expected any parents to say no. Why wouldn’t proud parents want toothless smiles of their darlings beaming out across social media?
When I went to the front office to make a note on our permission form I made our case again. The front office lady looked at me with weary resignation and sighed, ‘Well I guess it’s just the way the world is.’
Is it? Did she see something in her front-office-lady wisdom that I hadn’t seen? Had that horse bolted and was resistance therefore futile?
It seems for most things humans are boiling frogs. We adjust our body temperature as the water in the pot gets hotter. When change is incremental we barely even notice. Then when the time comes to jump out of the pot we’ve lost the strength to do so. The point at which we realise we’ve handed over all our data we’ve lost the ability to get it back.
Despite what the front office lady says there isn’t some predetermined path we’re all on. It’s not our destiny to shed our flesh and our fallibility and morph into an unthinking mechanized version of ourselves.
It ‘s up to us to decide what change we go along with and what we resist. We build the system from the inside in every decision we make. And that’s the point - to make a decision. To ask questions - of ourselves, our relationships, at work, in our organisations and in our society. To pay attention to what’s changing, what we’re gaining and what’s being lost.
As the pace of change gets faster it’s incumbent upon us to live deliberately. And to know when to jump out of the pot.