ESSAYS ON OUR EVER CHANGING WORLD
Posted by Tim Bryce on December 3, 2014
BRYCE ON LIFE
– One of four new books from Tim; this book provides lessons well suited for those aspiring to become effective managers.
The following are excerpts from the Introduction of my new book, “ESSAYS ON OUR EVER CHANGING WORLD,” one of four new books I recently introduced, available in paper and Kindle eBook formats from Amazon.
“If anything in life is constant, it is change.”
– Bryce’s Law
In our youth, it seemed every day was a new experience for us. Our parents may have tried to shield us from getting hurt and the evils of the world, but we were eager to explore and discover the world around us. In my day, my bicycle was indispensable. I drove it everywhere it seemed; to baseball fields, to streams for fishing, to the grocery store to collect money for soft drink bottles, to other neighborhoods to visit my friends and club houses, to run errands for my parents, to fields and parks where my friends and I would maintain forts and hideouts (and plot skullduggery), to the community pool, and, of course, to school. It was not unusual to have dinner at our friends’ house where we learned about Italian cuisine, as well as delicacies from China, Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, France, the Baltic countries, not to mention Jewish cuisine and Southern Fried Chicken. The father of one of my friends was a baker and we learned about different types of breads and pasties. The mother was an excellent cook and always had a fresh pot of soup on the stove.
In school, we learned to read, write, and the multiplication tables. My favorite course though was Mr. Hamilton’s Social Studies class where we learned about the famous explorers like Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan, Captain James Cook, and many others. We also learned about American frontiersmen, such as Lewis & Clark, Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, Kit Carson, etc. As Baby Boomers, we learned about the heroes of World War II, such as James Doolittle, Douglas MacArthur, Winston Churchill, and Dwight Eisenhower. All of this fueled our imagination. It was also in this particular class where it was announced President Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas and school was suspended in observance of his death and funeral. This is when we began to realize the importance of staying abreast of the world around us.
In lunch hall, the flights of the Mercury space program were shown on television and we all became familiar with the names of the astronauts: Carpenter, Cooper, Glenn, Grisson, Schirra, Shepard, and Slayton.
This was the “Golden Age of Television” with just three basic channels to watch: ABC, CBS, and NBC. We dutifully watched “The Wonderful World of Disney,” “The Ed Sullivan Show,” Jackie Gleason, and many others. At the movies, we were enthralled with “60,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” “Swiss Family Robinson,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “How the West was Won,” and many others. Over time, we watched the movies change to include nudity, and swearing. The arrival of James Bond also seemed to change the way films were made.
As youngsters we would of course listen to the music of our parents, but this all changed with the arrival of the Beatles and the “British Invasion.”
We were taught a deep respect for the presidency, as well as other government officials, but the Watergate Scandal changed that forever. Today, most Americans look at politicians with contempt.
Time seemed to pass quickly during our youth. As we matured into adulthood we worked at a frenzied rate as we learned to adapt to our professional lives. When we found our stride, things seemed to slow down and we began to take things for granted. We inevitably had children of our own and watched them go through the same turmoil of maturation as we did. Now it was their turn, and we helped them any way we could. However, the clock continued to slow down and we didn’t recognize the changes occurring around us. Then, one day, we woke up and learned the “Twin Towers” in New York had been destroyed, that another suicide attack had been made on the Pentagon, and another in Pennsylvania. Slowly we came to the realization things were no longer the same; that we were at war with terrorists who possessed a religion we didn’t understand, that our technology had radically changed, and the business world was somehow different. We found we could no longer operate with Standard Operating Procedures.
In reality, the world had never stopped changing, we were just not paying attention. This is the purpose of this book, to examine the changes around us and how to cope with them. We’ll discuss changes in our culture, fashion, vernacular, business, and even in the medical community. Such changes affect our attitudes, morality, priorities, and general interests. Some of this you will undoubtedly recognize, others you will not. A lot of this will simply be things we overlook or take for granted. The more cognizant we are of change, the better we can adapt or devise the means to thwart it. For example, kids no longer use bicycles the way we did in yesteryear. Some do not even know how to drive them.
There are six sections in the book:
1. Understanding Change – where I discuss how to adapt to change and the outrage normally associated with it.
2. Cultural Changes – noting the interests of youth, our speech, and other items we take for granted.
3. The Effects of Technology – more than anything, our rapidly changing technology is affecting our perspectives and thinking patterns.
4. Changes in Business – describing how we act and behave in the office today.
5. Changes in the Medical Community – due to new government regulations, we risk losing a generation of doctors.
These are my observations from over 30 years in the business world, coupled with extensive experience in the computer industry. Not surprising, I am particularly sensitive to the effects of technology on the human being. I believe technology influences our perspectives and enhances our sense of instant gratification. We want everything faster, not slower, thereby influencing our perspectives on life. We become more quickly frustrated and impatient for results. This leads to such things as “Road Rage.” To illustrate, it was the evening rush hour on a Friday, the end of the work week, and I had been working on the computer all day. I was tired and had arranged to visit a friend after work where we would smoke a cigar and have some libations. He lived only three miles from my office, and as I drove to his house on a country road, I found myself behind a motorist who appeared to be going painfully slow. I suddenly found myself tailgating him and uttering expletives for him to go faster. I then recognized my anger and asked myself, “Why are you getting upset? Your friend will still be there even if it takes a few more minutes. Just relax.” And I did. I then felt my anger subside and my blood pressure go down. The other motorist was barely maintaining the speed limit, but my problem was rooted in the technology I had been working with all day. Interestingly, as I slowed down, I realized there was another motorist behind me who appeared to be as agitated as I had been.
Since 1971, our corporate logo has been, “Software for the finest computer – the Mind.” If I have learned anything in my professional career over the years, it is the realization that life is not about technology or managing numbers; it’s about people, and how we socialize in both our personal and professional lives.
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Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.
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