Jack London in the story “To Build A Fire,” depicts nature as dangerous and impersonal. Nature is neither beneficial nor vindictive and nor even selective to who the next victims of it’s wrath will be. Those who are not strong, lack natural common sense, or survival or adaptability skills are those who fail. His story also demonstrates life's fragile state, and the paradox of learning lessons too late when we miscalculate our instinct or intelligence.
While London’s story was about surviving in nature, it’s also true in relationships. We all have flaws in our character since we are human. These flaws have the capability to lead us, when we are not prepared, to defeat in a variety of circumstances.
Our marriages, friendships or even work environments, in order to be successful, take an enormous amount of strength and “stick-it-to-it-ive-ness!” When we choose to not use our common sense or adapt to change and work for success, we risk failure and even a kind of death. It often takes compromise to make everyone happy. Yet sometimes, even at the risk of death of a relationship, adaptability is not an option if we are asked to compromise our principles.
Our lives are ever changing. Nothing stays the same. We grow, inherit new ideas, and then form new ones. The result is a new way of doing things. This can be easily illustrated through companies who failed to adapt and adopt new ideas in communication and technology.
One such company, and there are many, is Kodak. It led the way for years in cameras, film and other picture taking accessories. When digital communications evolved, Kodak did not choose to incorporate the new ideas into their business. This isn’t to say they weren’t aware of the changes, some would even say they “invented” digital communication. But they were so deep into printing and film making, there wasn't incentive to push “digital” into the forefront for consumers. Other companies, however, saw the potential and ran with it. Kodak is now fighting for survival. Other companies like Atari, Xerox, IBM and Blockbuster share similar stories.
When considering human nature and the desire to move forward yet not wanting to lose traditions, change can be difficult. Life changes in minute ways, and in grand ways every day. Our bodies and minds grow and change while the world around us also grows, changes, dies and is reborn! It’s a continual cycle. To survive the changes, we must adapt even if only minutely! We have to accept that our minds are producing wonderful, new thoughts that has the potential to create wonderful, new things. Yet in all things we must be prepared for the storms of life or “disasters” which threaten to overwhelm or destroy us. We must be ready to use our common sense, intellect and natural instincts to get the most out of life and be successful.
So I challenge you to take a good look at the the "storms" in your life. Are they demanding a change? Is there a need to move forward or are you standing your ground on principle? In either case, the decision is yours. Ultimately you will determine if you survive and flourish.