In taking my Archeology class last night I had a lot of thoughts come up that I felt needed some fleshing out in regards to change.
My base assumption both in the field I am studying as well as life in general is this:
People will do what works for them on some level or serves them on some level. OR Do what has worked in the past that does not any longer to the extent that it is not overtly destructive enough to force a change to a new paradigm or perish immediately. We do things that hurt us, but until it hurts too much, we do not want to change. We wait for the diagnosis of high cholesterol to do something about it, or we wait to have a friend die of lung cancer before we take stopping smoking seriously.
This is not just on the microcosmical level but the microcosmical level as well. We wait until a species is near extinction to do something about saving them. We wait until the air quality is really bad to worry about doing something about our air. The point is this, we do what has worked at some point, to define who and what we are.
We know that people do what works because the ones who do not live long enough to keep it going. An example I have given in the past, is if a culture says it is a good thing to kill all their children at the age of 8. that culture will not live longer than 1 generation without outside help like perhaps taking a warring groups children past that age as their own.
In reflecting on this in my own life, there are habits I have or things I do that do not serve me but they make me feel good. I eat poorly because at the time the food tastes good, regardless of what it is doing to my body weight. That is something that needs to change, but the only way to change it is to find other coping mechanisms. I have to find the bigger why.
In a strange way this also translates to my teaching students. I have taught for awhile that if something feels wrong, you are probably doing something wrong in your technique, and while that is true. it may make more sense to observe what is natural first then work with that, rather than just start with the assumption that people are doing something wrong. When we look at weapons that were used in the past it is easy to say that they should have been used X way, but the way they break shows that at least sometimes they were used in Y way and that was it's weakness. The problem is we do not want to admit that what is natural may not be what we have in mind. Yes, sometimes what is natural is wrong, but it has something to tell us about what the student feels like works and that should not just be thrown out because we are the teachers and we know SOO much better than they do.
At the end we may be the end of ourselves as we grasp to paradigms that do not work and hope that if we just do it right, it has to work, when that may just not be true. Sometimes something has to break, so we can fix the challenges we have now and in the future.