The Past Ain’t What It Used to Be

Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.” ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

You kids get off my lawn!

Or everyone is writing a blog (ahem).  How often have you heard the lament that children no longer obey their parents?  Apparently, things have been deteriorating since around 100 BC.  There must have been some idyllic period over two thousand years ago, at least, where parents enjoyed compliant offspring.

Or probably not.

It’s really an example on how we tend to idealize the past.  The same is true in the workforce.  I am always amazed by people who view the recent turbulent decade of change and transformation as an aberration – that soon things will return to ‘normal’.  This underlying expectation of upcoming stability is often used by leaders to get buy-in for accepting changes.  It is a disservice to people to encourage the belief that rapid, multiple changes are an exception.  There is very little evidence to suggest change will slow down – in fact quite the opposite.

We do the same disservice to children.  The emphasis of education, particularly post secondary education, is that what you study will lead to a job in that field.  How often does that happen when one graduates?  How many people are doing the same job they were ten years ago?  Most of the jobs elementary school children will occupy in the future have not even been invented.

Flexible, thinking, independent people are needed.  But they can only be led, not managed.

My apologies to Cicero. But I could not resist.

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