Adaptation is the activity of becoming better suited to survive in a changing environment. It is an art with which the highest species on the food chain is losing touch. As such and as always, the ability to adapt will determine the future success of every biological being, including those of the human variety.
Where diplomas and degrees once insured a certain order of fulfillment for those who sought to attain them, our children are faced with the impending awareness that these things are more like documents of fiction that serve a dwindling number of graduates. They watch the world unfold online, and must reconcile that world with the fiction that is spoon fed to them by family members and teachers who are losing jobs in climbing numbers.
What is the great lesson of our time? Adaptation is a natural phenomenon that even humanity cannot overcome. Unless we begin to tap back into the extraordinary gifts of human nature as once we did in eras past, each of us will begin to find ourselves without a place in the ecosystems of the 21st Century. Life on earth will continue, but will you live out your days as your birthright implored? Will your children do so? Will your grandchildren do so?
The art of adaptation is the art of waking up from the dream of what once was to the reality of circumstances you now face. It is the art of gazing upon your surroundings with open eyes and asking yourself: where am I situated, and how might I bring the best of myself to this situation?
Schooling no longer offers a guarantee to this great question, but education does as it always has. What is the difference between schooling and education? “Education” is the process by which we naturally develop our human capacities, skills and talents to meet the demands of an ever-changing world. “Schooling” is an institutionalized education often based on the ways of historical times.
To educate yourself is to behave as a three year old—with wide eyes and fascination for tapping your potential. To school yourself is to place trust in systems of knowing that may or may not be fully relevant. To educate yourself is to take responsibility for your own learning and growth. To school yourself is to trust in the wisdom of others to guide your learning and growth; it often requires a tuition in the process.
The value of schools is not to be discounted, as many can be quite empowering and skill-building under the proper circumstances. But few schools serve to develop the heart and personal interests necessary to bring true success to one’s ventures. Inside you are the gifts of your extraordinary nature. Inside you are the capacities that you might develop to adapt to a changing world.
What do you know of your own capacities as a being that lives and breaths in this exciting and transformational time?
Might it serve you to take action to better understand and develop these things?