Nothing but change stays the same. A simple sentiment, but I struggle at times to find a more steadfast truth than this one. Today is a great representation — Australia finally stood up and told those in our government that we are ready to change our marriage laws to give everyone equal rights to love whoever they damn well want to.
Do we as humans really have a resistance to change? It's an idea that certainly seeps into our collective consciousness at times; if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But I'm not so sure we're as adverse to change as some of us believe.
I would argue the opposite. Humans, in my understanding of all I've encountered in this life, are extremely adept at not only dealing with, but thriving through change. Technological change has occurred at an unprecedented level in the last half century. While met with some resistance at times, I believe the overwhelming majority of humankind has embraced these changes. Sure it's not perfect. Nothing ever is.
The internet and social media has irreversibly altered the way we interact and there are certainly some downsides. But the opportunity for like-minded people to form communities across the world without ever meeting each other in person is a truly fascinating phenomenon. I have no doubt it has helped countless people across the globe feel a little less alone; that their trials and tribulations in life are shared by fellow human beings.
I've always had a love/hate relationship with social media. In the past, I frequently drew on the negatives when discussing how social media has changed us. I disconnected from multiple social media platforms after reflecting on the fact I felt I was wasting time with petty issues. And to an extent, I was. But through those platforms I was able to engage in political discussion, exchange of great music between friends, appreciate the varying creative talents of friends and acquaintances, and learn more than I could have ever imagined from all types of people.
I still have my reservations about certain issues including the ability of social media to pigeon hole people and issues and create a type of tunnel vision that could be dangerous in the future. At the same time, I'm beginning to see the value of these online communities. Social media is neither good nor bad. It is a tool and it's up to us how we use it.
Shortly after the beginning of this trip, my mum and sisters decided to start an Instagram account on my behalf — presumably to share the photos of my trip with those back home who were interested. At the time, I had little or no interest in being involved. I was concerned about the narcissism and self-promotion present within the platform. A large portion of my good friends use Instagram — they're not narcissistic, nor are they remotely interested in self-promotion.
So many people I've come across on this trip are stoked on it. And I'm stoked that they're stoked, which usually just results in a cyclical upwelling of happiness that is great for everyone. But more than that, people have taken a genuine interest in following the journey wherever it leads. And for that I feel both pride and a sense of humility. I feel proud that I'm able to do something that makes other people stoked, and I feel humble for the opportunities I've been given in life to allow me the great fortune of embarking on this trip. I am indebted to my parents, sisters, my wider family, wonderful friends, numerous acquaintances and countless strangers. My trip would have been impossible were it not for the involvement of many great people.
Gregory David Haskell (in another bloody interview with Richard Fidler - it's the only thing I ever listen to) said that humans exist only in relationship. The idea of the individual that is sold to us in the modern capitalist world is a total myth. Humans exist only through relationship. The Earth exists only in relationship, as does the universe. We are all connected — we always have been and we always will be. Of that I am sure.
The modern tools of communication are here whether we like it or not; it's about how we use them that counts. Maybe it's time I started heeding my own advice, and thriving on change instead of resisting it...