The Inconvenience of Change: Learning = Change

Matt asked us to write about why change is so inconvenient and why people are resistant to change. To be honest, I don’t know. I have far more questions than answers when it comes to topics such as social change, leadership, and responsibility for our Earth and its people.

Although I don’t have definite answers, I do have something to share from my experience volunteering at a community center.  Over the past few months, I had the chance to assist with teaching a Computer Basics class and met people from all walks of life. When I say basic, I mean basic. The first class was spent explaining to them the names of different computer parts (ie. monitor, keyboard, hard-drive) and how to move a mouse.

Being with them through this learning experience was quite emotional for me. I saw them feeling completely clueless about something that is so intuitive for me. I saw them struggle asking lots of “stupid questions” and feeling stupid for asking them. I saw them not remembering anything that I just said and sheepishly requesting that I repeat.

We grow up so fast

From this experience, I concluded that: learning is frustrating. Learning something from the very basics for an adult is very intimidating. It takes a lot of hard work, commitment, courage, and patience. Perhaps that is why change is so inconvenient.

When we were kids, we were not afraid making mistakes, we were used to learning new ideas everyday, we would not be embarrassed if we didn’t know something. But as we grow up, all of that seem to have changed. For some reason, we expect ourselves to know all the answers in the world. We feel bad if we don’t know the answer, worse yet, we apologize for asking questions.

My friend, Renjie, volunteers at an elementary school on weeknights. He said to me, “It’s amazing what kids can teach you sometimes. Perhaps the reason why people are reluctant to change is because as we have ‘grown’ up, somewhere along the way, we’ve lost our sense of risk, wonder and play. We box ourselves into the definitions placed on us by society. Perhaps we just need to think of ourselves in a different way.”

You have to WANT to learn

Changing old behaviors require one to learn something new. Learning something new is a very frustrating and intimidating experience. So people can/will only change if they wholeheartedly want to, not when they’re being told to. I genuinely believe that people do care and they do want a better world. So I guess our job as a change-agent is to encourage people to see that there is a better way and empower them to make better choices for themselves.

It really feels like I’m just stating the obvious. But maybe we all just need to be more okay with making mistakes at times and stop expecting ourselves to know all the answers. Will that make you more willing to just try, and have more fun with life?

AUTHOR BIO: Ruby is a 23-year-old that blogs at I care. She’s inspired by caring individuals and loves it when people email her and tell her they care. She loves exploring, learning, and eating. In everything she does, she sees every single day as an opportunity to make the world a little better than it was yesterday and life a little easier for people that she loves. I met Ruby through a mutual friend in the blogosphere, and am an avid reader of her blog. A driven and compassionate writer,  Ruby is committed to inspiring social change in the world. Let’s just say, if we all thought a little more like Ruby Ku, the world would probably be a much better place.

About Matt Cheuvront

I empower folks to do the work they want to do and live the life they want to live. I also watch entirely too much Saved by the Bell, run marathons, and drink plenty of craft beer. Check out the work my company is doing at Proof Branding.