Time for changeIt is often said that the animal that will survive the longest is not the strongest or the smartest or the one with the most effort trophies, but the one that can most readily adapt to a changing environment. A creature that can evolve with its surroundings has a much better chance of lasting than one that refuse to acknowledge that things are different now.

And the exact same is true for human beings.

Think about how quickly technology develops these days. In the space of a few short decades, scientists have developed gadgets and machines that go beyond the wildest dreams of people living less than a century ago. Our computers are so accessible now and so easy to use that small children – and sometimes even small animals – can master them fairly quickly.

But if you refuse to use anything more advanced than a 1993 Nokia – which, admittedly, is a nifty little phone – you’ll never be able to keep up with the next generation. Or even the members of this generation willing to try new things.

Resisting change is a habit that will get you left behind as the rest of the world moves on.

Even if the change is not one that you support, don’t think that your only other option is do what you’ve always done while everyone else transitions. If you don’t like the direction things are going, you have the power to say something about it, you can make an effort to steer the change somewhere more positive.

Acknowledge that things are going to change and don’t fear it. Usually, these days, change means that something is becoming more convenient.

And it doesn’t seem to you that an impending change is positive then you can challenge it. That is one of the main benefits of living in a free society where everyone’s opinion matters.

What you’ll find most difficult, though, is refusing to accept that things are going to change. Change is inevitable and inescapable. If you can understand this and be prepared to not just live with change but play a part in it, you can make it work for you. If you can find a way to guide the changes that will occur in your life – whether that means making sure that you make the right decisions when faced with important choices or taking part in a local government or council for the things that have more influence on your community – you will find yourself able to flourish for much longer as a person.

If you plan on staying consistently successful, you need to be able to adapt to the ways that society develops, whether that means how people communicate or what is socially acceptable or whatever else.

Remember that if things didn’t change, you’d still be relying on carrier pigeons and messenger boys on mules to pass on important information. If things didn’t change, your parents would be expected to pay a dowry when you married a man. Or you’d be expected to ask a man’s permission – or the permission of the state – to marry his daughter.

Now, if you don’t feel like it, it’s socially acceptable not to marry at all. And, though if you go too far it does push the limits of what is polite, you can do more than kiss the back of a lady’s hand in public without causing a scandal.

Change, for the most part, is good.

Be prepared for it and use it to keep yourself at the heart of the important things in your life. It’s never too late and never a bad idea to learn new things.

Kirstie Summers,

Daily Zen.