We live in a world of ebb and flow, of cycles, opposites and paradox. The tide moves in and out, seasons change, we succeed, we fail and organizations come and go. Also, as we look back, we discover that we don’t always find what we had expected in life. My own history certainly deployed way different from what I originally imagined it would be like when I was a child, a teenager and a young adult.
Many centuries ago, the Greek philosopher, Heraclites, rightly observed that “The only constant is change.” What he did not know and what we are seeing more profoundly every day is that the ceaseless process of change and upheaval has taken on uniquely intense characteristics in present times. This is relevant because our thinking we does not happen within a vacuum. It happens within unique and specific circumstances, a context of time and space.
It is not only our circumstances that are under threat when we do not deal with change effectively, a characteristic of current times is the rapid and continuous explosion of knowledge. This means that much existing knowledge become obsolete almost overnight. The IT industry is an excellent example of this. Knowledge has to be continuously updated.
The point I am trying to make is that we and our children have to increase our knowledge daily. I try to learn something new every day. My grandchildren attend a supposedly good Afrikaans primary school and I am concerned about outdated curricula. This places a greater responsibility on parents to ensure their children will survive and flourish in a whole new world. The Tao Che Ching rightly says that consuming knowledge is strength, ignoring knowledge is sickness…
- What do you do every day in terms of learning new stuff? This could perhaps replace some idle chatter.
- What have you taught you children in terms of new knowledge the last week?