This weekend my son and I went to the San Rafael Swell and spent some time at The Wedge. Despite having lived here for a number of years he had never been there before and I wanted him to see it.
Along with us we took his horse and one of my house dogs. He rode the horse along the roads as we looked at the scenery. I, on the other hand, walked beside him with my dog attached to me with a leash.
While the horse didn't have a problem with the dog being there, my dog was not used to an animal so much bigger than herself walking by us.
At first she was very wary and each time the horse took a step she kind of jumped. She also kept looking over her shoulder at the horse. Once the horse sneezed, and I thought she was going to jump out of her skin.
But as the day went on, she started first to accept the horse was there, and then almost began to love the horse by smelling him and rubbing against the steeds legs.
By the end of the day I thought she was going to jump in the horse trailer with him and ride home. The discomfort and unfamiliarity about the horse had left her completely.
For my dog, the horse walking along side us was a major change. Whenever I had gone hiking before it was just her and I or maybe another person along with us. My dogs attitude about change was not that unusual for any animal; as far as we humans can tell, dogs have the intelligence of a human 3 year old, although I often think my dogs are much smarter than I am, particularly about certain things.
In our civilization, people continually face the same dilemma as my dog. They often get thrown into situations where change becomes an important factor in their actions. Some people adapt to the change, others do not.
The changes that people face come in many forms; everything from changing morays to changing technology. Some of us adapt faster to certain things than others. And there are some that never adapt at all.
For instance I know a number of highly educated people who will not touch a computer. I also recently had a reunion with an old work associate who doesn't believe in email. He also thinks cell phones are a waste.
Certainly all these people have the right to not only believe what they want, but to abstain from using any new technologies they wish too.
I remember I too once thought that cell phones were an expensive extravagance that were not something I would ever want much less need. Today, I could easily live without mine, but I can't say how many times it has saved not only time but money for me. And as a work tool it is invaluable.
Embracing new technology is sometimes very hard for people, particularly as they get older. And I include myself in that category as well. I feel I am up on technology and new developments in the world of gadgets pretty well, partly because I see so many things in my work. But my kids are always teasing me and asking me about when I am going to move from the 1960s to the beginning of the second millennium.
Personally I still think vinyl records are pretty neat, that network television is enough to fill up my entertainment time, that my 1968 Mustang is still a comfortable car to drive and that my 10 year old Macintosh computer is good enough to write stories on.
On the other hand I sure like the sound of CD's in my late l990s Mustang's sound system along with the cars other creature comforts, when I have time I like channel surfing as much as the next person and the new computers we continually get at work are generally a joy to work on and provide much more capability than my old one at home.
So I find myself living in two worlds, the old and the new.
Personally, I think people can embrace new things without forgetting about the old more standard things in their life without always looking over their shoulders to see what is sneaking up on them.
In short I think the world should be an inclusive place where we look to change with the same optimism that we look to the good memories of the past. And when those sneezes in life come along, we shouldn't tend to jump out of our skins over them either.