“What makes us hold on so tight to the old when the new is so obviously better?”
The question seemed to me one part rhetorical, one part puzzlement, and two parts painful pondering. Here’s a man whose life is marked by intentional change, flexibility that empowers success, and unbridled possibilities. A man who, together with his wife, is deeply committed to helping us live the same way, while graciously identifying with “us” in the question.
We hear the question and wonder, too. Why do we hold on so tight to the old when the new is so obviously better? Two possible answers come to mind. First of all, not everybody believes there can be something better, or knows there’s a new way of thinking, being, and doing. That’s why God brought us to the ACTS House! And the other reason has to do with familiarity. Yep, it’s old. We know that. And outdated. We’ll admit that, too. But it’s all we’ve ever known, and there’s a certain comfort in it. It’s the new that feels risky, and sometimes when we’re challenged to learn a better way, all we can see ahead of us is a steep learning curve that we’re not always sure we have the strength, stamina, or know-how to tackle.
It’s the reason I’m typing this in Word 2003 right now. On a laptop I’ve had since 2009. With an operating system that is no longer supported by Microsoft. Why in the world am I resorting to the old when I have a new, and obviously better, one available? It’s familiar, that’s why. I’m used to it. I’ve had it a long time, and I like it…even though it takes forever to boot up and overheats from time to time.
The new one, with all its speed and updated software, feels awkward, harder to navigate. And the learning curve is throwing off my rhythm. Words that flow effortlessly from my old keyboard to the screen have a way of jumping all over the place on the new screen, because the keyboard is more sensitive and supposedly better. But to me, it’s frustrating; not as easy as I’d like it to be. So here I am, holding onto the old.
And what about you? What old things are you holding onto because it’s easier than learning something new? And who do you have in your life to ask the questions that help you figure out why you do what you do? Our reasons are not always easy to see, and we need people who can see what we can’t. People who remind us that new things are possible, way better than the old, and that we’re totally up to the challenge.
Maybe new technology is no big deal to you, but you have a way of jumping all over the place in relationships. To you, they’re frustrating; not as easy as you’d like them to be, and you’re ready to admit you need to learn something new… no matter how steep the learning curve is. That’s what I’ll eventually do with my new laptop. Because honestly… it really doesn’t make sense to hold onto the old when the new is so obviously better.