I bumped into an old colleague this morning. After a quick chat and catch up we parted, with him shouting “nothing ever changes” as he wandered off, a statement that worried me no end. Because everything changes: learning is about change. If we stop changing, we stop learning.
When we learn, we don’t just add new information into a box that sits in our head: we remake the whole box. Learning is the process of reconciling new knowledge with old, of rewriting our conception of how the world works and how we fit within it. It’s not something that happens to us in the abstract, it’s something that changes us in the here and now. We learn new things, we act upon them. The things we learn today change how we receive the things we try to learn tomorrow. The reason we may not recognise the person we were ten years ago is because we were a different person.
The thought that nothing ever changes worried me because, to me, life seems full of change. New connections, new conversations, new books, new music, new things that layer upon the old, that change how i think and what i write. It’s a process of discovery that seems incredibly exciting. I’d hate to think that nothing ever changed.