The ability to be flexible is an important quality to have today. Change is too common for a person to be stubborn.
When I was 20, a sign with a quotation from Darwin in a garage struck me as profound. I had passed the sign many times before, but for once, it finally connected with me. The quote read, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Obviously, it has stayed with me ever since and I believe he was right.
This Wall Street Journal article seems to agree. The author argues that the era of having a world superpower is gone. Now, there will be multiple leading nations. What will make these nations leaders? Their ability to be flexible. It’s interesting that the author believes Brazil has come to forefront, mainly because of their ability to form alliances with many different countries of influence. Turkey makes a lot of sense. The country is located right in the crossroads of Europe and Asia. A few Turkish cities manage to be hip and urbane, while also traditional. The author believes several smaller Asian countries and the entire continent of Africa are emerging as important pivot points, basically areas of influence that must work with many different countries and be adaptable.
Beyond the scope of this article, the job market for professionals is an area where individuals must become more flexible. This article on Nieman Lab discusses the importance of change and adaptation in the field of journalism. A journalist must be adaptable to change to survive.
I leave you with Stephen Fry’s thoughts on the flexibility of language.