Getting off the tiger of change is not feasible. Tiger-riding lessons are necessary.
—JOHN D. ADAMS, PH.D.
Abraham Lincoln once told of the eastern monarch who challenged his wise men to invent a sentence that would be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him with the words: "And this, too, shall pass away." As the twentieth century gives way to the twenty-first, these words become ever more appropriate. It is now a cliché to say that rapid change has become the norm.
The changes reach into the social, moral, and spiritual dimensions of life, as Dr. Ernesto Michelucci, psychologist with the Rochester (New York) Mental Health Center, has pointed out. Michelucci has counseled many people who found themselves jobless after massive layoffs at Eastman Kodak, Xerox, and other large companies in the Rochester area. He observed:
As a society, we are moving away from the idea of one marriage, one family, one career—but so many people here still hold on to that world view. I try to get across to them that the zeitgeist1 is completely different today2?
No one is immune from these changes, but when you focus your life on principles, you can negotiate the changes more surely. People can be unreliable and disloyal; possessions can lose their value; jobs that once stimulated you can become boring. But principles remain steady through it all. As a laid-off corporate director of marketing and public relations told Fortune ...