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March 13, 2023

You Get Used To It

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I’ve had a really incredible lesson hit me from a few different angles recently. I’ve been working on a project to interview my grandma and record it to capture her life story. At 89 years old she’s telling me what her life was like at different timestamps of history and technology, and it has really been making me think.

Then alongside that I just finished a TV series called “The Men Who Built America” that talked about how certain innovations like electricity and cars permanently changed the way people do things in the late 1800s.

The similar conclusion I’ve drawn from both of those influences - People are resilient. They figure it out and accommodate to the circumstances and environment they find themselves in.

Darwinism or ‘survival of the fittest’, which is the mechanism for evolution, teaches that it’s not the strongest or most powerful species that survives, it’s the most adaptable. And humans are highly adaptable. 

This lesson plays in a few different fields. Let’s say someone experiences a traumatic injury - a limb is amputated, something causes blindness, whatever it might be. That new circumstance becomes the new normal very quickly. That’s not to say that things are the same, they certainly aren’t, but they become normal. The same goes for the world around us and how we adopt new technologies and standards of living.

And therein lies the opportunity - You can manufacture your environment and establish new standards to create your new normal.

This reflection also makes me think about what unimaginable inconvenience we are tolerating right now. Similar to how before kerosene and electricity night time was basically dark (and that’s just the way it was), what realities of life are we experiencing now that will be inconceivable in the future? It’s just another example of how we get used to whatever is around us.

At the end of the day it’s all a matter of awareness. We don’t know what we’re missing out on. We don’t know what difficulties we’re currently experiencing. And pursuing that perspective gives us new eyes to see where the world is headed, and how we can make the most of it, and make a difference.

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