Let me begin by saying that I have no faith whatsoever in the actual theory of evolution as a theory of the amoeba and subsequent changes and growths into what we now know as the human species. No, I believe in a much more creative story, one which involves a Creator.
But, that being said, I have been thinking recently about this problem that I feel our society has. This is just a pondering, so don’t go quoting or anything! It is solely my (in progress) thoughts.
So, I have been thinking of this complex recently due to theories and ideas that I have been studying in Applied Linguistics, as well as ideas and thoughts that I have encountered in modern Christianity. Furthermore, I know that this “complex” as I am calling it exists in nearly every sphere of thinking that we encounter today, and I think that it’s important to address if we are going to find meaning and fulfillment in our lives.
I believe that there is a story to life, and I believe that life is comprised of stories. But I think that, at least in contemporary humanity, many of us struggle to accept the story of life. We don’t really want to be a part of the archetypical storyline, and so we are driven to something new. Heaven forbid that we be stuck in the same old Romeo and Juliet! Now, please read me clearly, because I understand that there is validity and benefit in moving forward and always studying to know something new. If I didn’t believe that, then my life would be quite a contradiction! But, at the same time, I feel that sometimes we as a people are so driven to move forward, to discover something new, that we forget to stop and appreciate the beauty of the story that exists around us.
I mention this because looking back on the history of linguistics, every few years there is a new theory or method or model. Someone is always going to find a problem with the current method, because (BIG SECRET HERE!) perfection is not a human trait. There is no one who is going to attain perfection, because that is opposite of who we are. But, the fact that we cannot reach perfection doesn’t mean that we need always scrap what we have and set off in yet another search for perfection.
So why do I find this pertinent for my generation? Because, I have been caught in the tension between the two sides recently. There are things in which I am extremely ambitious, and in all honesty am ready to ditch the ways that things have been done before for something completely new. But why? Is it because there is actually a problem with the old? Or is it because I am inflicted with this evolutionary complex in which those things which are old are boring and unattractive?
There is a lot to be learned from the things that have been done before us. I am not against pushing forward and learning new things, but I feel that we owe it, out of respect and gratitude to objectively evaluate why it is that we are moving forward. New for new’s sake isn’t always best.
For instance, there is a story, a simple story of love, rejection, death, life, and hope. I wouldn’t trade it for any new story in the world, because it has given me new life. I cannot reject the old simple truths because they have been worn out.
So, no, I am not against advancement. I am against changing because of boredom or because there is one piece of something that failed to work. Perhaps I’m the one who needs to change.
I don’t want to need new ideas and trends because I am addicted to ongoing change or evolution. Rather, I want to push forward in an ambitious search of knowledge, but never neglect the solid truths and theories that have gone before me.
Like it or not, we are in this story. We are in it together, and we are not going to break out of it by our evolutionariness. Let’s accept that and enjoy the story rather than only the journey forward.