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Change Is….

Internationally known Geophysicist, Peter Vail, was giving a lecture at Georgetown University on change. He was talking about change in the earth but he was also talking about human systems, people, and the changes we’ve gone through in the recent past.

His lecture was entitled “Never Ending Whitewater”. An interesting topic. It has to do with how systems and people and the world are all changing. And it is a never ending process.

The part of Dr. Vail’s lecture that most interests me is the part where he was talking about human systems. He said up until the 1980s, in business, in government, the way people were living their lives was pretty much a status quo process. We’d come up through wars and things had re-stabilized around the world fairly much.

But in the 1980s things began to be shaken up a bit. The metaphor he used was, “You would go to work, and going to work was like going on a canoe trip.”

He said, “You would take your canoe to the river, and you’d load in your hunting gear, your fishing gear, camping equipment, food, sleeping bag and tent.

You’d put all your stuff in the canoe. Then you launch off into the water, and head out into the middle of the river. You’d paddle for awhile and get moving the direction you want. You just float along, got out your fishing pole and fished for a little while. And then you could see rapids coming up ahead, so you put down your pole and get your paddle ready.

Then you begin to work through the rapids and flow on downstream. And when you come out the other side of the rapids, you once again put down your paddle, pick up your pole and just drift along and do a little fishing. Maybe even catch something for dinner.

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