The only constant is change.
There is no right to the status quo. You do not have the right, your children do not, your neighbors do not. Time marches on. Things change. To deny change is to deny time, to deny reality.
I have been writing this article in my head for years. The notion that anybody or anything has a right to the status quo is a disease. And the disease is spreading. People think that if something has always been one way, then it should always remain that way. This disease takes many forms:
- My grandfather worked at this coal mine and raised a family in this town.
- My daddy worked at this coal mine and raised a family in this town.
- I have a right to work at this coal mine a raise a family in this town.
- I bought a house next to an airport.
- The airport wants to add more flights.
- I have a right to the same number of flights (or fewer) than when I moved here.
- The earth used to be molten lava, then the earth was covered with ice.
- The polar ice caps are melting.
- The polar ice caps should remain the same size forever.
- Ford, GM, and Chrysler used to supply nearly 100% of the cars to the US market.
- Then Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Subaru, VW, Audi, Saab, and Volvo started selling better cars in the US.
- Ford, GM, and Chrysler deserve to stay in business.
- My neighbor’s house was tan when I moved in.
- Then they painted it red.
- I complained to the painters about the new color.
- Next Generation Children’s Center wants to build Acton’s first large daycare facility.
- Small daycare centers have been able to exist without large competition for years.
- Therefore, the proposed daycare facility is a public safety risk.
- Large massage schools used to exist in Massachusetts without competition.
- Then small massage schools started competing with the large schools.
- Large massage school owners got themselves appointed to the Massachusetts Board Of Registration Of Massage Therapy and support regulations that favor only large massage schools.
- I have been selling this product/service for years at this price.
- My market share is declining.
- Please subsidize me.
Let me suggest some alternatives:
- Be not complacent. No job is secure. Learn a new skill. Go back to school.
- Don’t move next to an airport if you don’t like airplane noise.
- Global warming may be real, it may not be. It also may be as good as bad. A warmer New England means less spent on oil heat in the winter.
- If you make crappy cars, then you should be allowed to go bankrupt. Sell the assets to a company that will make better use of them. Trees take root, trees grow, trees die, trees fall, trees rot on the forest floor where they form fertilizer for new trees.
- Mind your own business or propose bylaws for acceptable house colors.
- Large companies should be allowed to compete fairly with incumbents.
- Small companies should be allowed to compete fairly with incumbents.
- Subsidies are a bad idea. Bailouts are a bad idea. If your product sales are decreasing, then fix your product. If your service sales are decreasing, then fix your service.
The human species has the unique ability to adapt to its environment, to change when necessary, to evolve rather than perish. As the great book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People teaches, responsibility is the ability to choose your own response.
But humans are also really good at complaining that things aren’t like they used to be.
Get used to it. Things have never been like they used to be. And they never will be. There is no right to the status quo. You have the ability to change. How will you respond?