By Kia Wassenaar
The fact that our world today is changing and communicating more quickly than ever before is a difficult one to accept. We are all constantly reminded by our ever increasing number of gadgets that snail mail, and even dial-up internet connection, are things of the past. Though our nostalgia for a slower moving time may sneak in every now and then, no one can deny that we are speeding into a future of instantaneous, worldwide change.
So the faster the world moves and shifts and talks, the faster we, as a society, must also react and adapt.
Even basic evolutionary theories support the idea that the most effective organisms are those that are most adaptive. Charles Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection concludes that the incredible adaptability of humans is what has made us the leading species.
By this logic the most powerful thinkers, leaders, and organizations are not those who are most deeply set in their ways, but are instead those that can most effectively react to this constantly changing world.
When a pipe breaks in our home, we call a plumber: the professional best equipped, both in knowledge and practice, to fix the problem. As is the case with any problem man encounters. When we elect our leaders, we look for those people with the experience and knowledge best suited to find a solution.
Of course, in leaders, we look for values that align with our own. We want intelligent, dedicated, and above all honest men and women in positions of power, but a person’s ability to think on their feet is routinely overlooked, especially in a world of campaign ads and scripted speeches. In fact, negative campaigns often criticize politicians for changing their viewpoints and take specific decisions or quotes completely out of context. When in reality, these decisions were made in response to a larger issue, often one that was rapidly changing.
We accuse leaders of flip-flopping, when they’re actually adapting.
The most important thing we can do as citizens is to make sure we stay informed about our leaders and thoroughly understand the situation before forming opinions.
As members of both the Monticello community and the world community, we have the right to examine the people in positions of power. In fact, constantly challenging our school administrators, teachers, congressmen, and leaders in general to be the people who are most capable of understanding and responding to this world is our responsibility.