Sometime last year, I came across this quote:
If a man in the fullness of his days, at the end of his life, can pass on the wisdom of his experience to those who grow up after him; if what he has learned in his youth, added to but not discarded in his maturity, still serves him in his old age and is still worth teaching the then young — then his was not an age of revolution, not counting, of course, abortive revolutions. The world into which his children enter is still his world, not because it is entirely unchanged, but because the changes that did occur were gradual and limited enough for him to absorb them into his initial stock and keep abreast of them. If, however, a man in his advancing years has to turn to his children, or grandchildren, to have them tell him what the present is about; if his own acquired knowledge and understanding no longer avail him; if at the end of his days he finds himself to be obsolete rather than wise — then we may term the rate and scope of change that thus overtook him, “revolutionary.”-Hans Jonas, from Philosophical Essays (1974), p. 46
Talking to some of my friends, I’ve been struck by how different things are. A lot of our generations’ parents haven’t been very smart with their money, a point that a quick Google search “baby boomers and money” seems to confirm is a general trend. Strikingly, “75% of millennials talk money at least once a week.”
To this point, I recently read “Millennials are Screwed” at the Huffington Post. It makes a lot a good case about the challenges my generation is faced with. And truth be told, I need to understand the case. Good advice about what to do has been rarer than I would have liked, and I’m learning a lot the hard way.My conclusion: things have been changing fast. And if I don’t change as fast, I might get left behind.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not pessimistic. But I’m optimistic for two overriding reasons: one, it’s in my nature, as much as part of my temperament as it is attributable to my Mormon faith. And two, I believe I can change with the times. I feel strongly that I can keep ahead of “the rate and scope of change.” And even if things don’t work out entirely, I’ve got–as I alluded to–faith. Things will work out.
But my conclusion is this: things have been changing fast. And one of the greatest assets a person can have is to learn and adapt as fast as the environment in which he lives. It’s as much a principle of natural selection and evolution as it living in the modern era.