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People claim to want new views on old subjects, and yet it seems almost impossible to bring a new idea before them without a howl of rejection. The reason for the rejection is simple enough — a new idea breaks their old stereotypes and undermines the benefits of believing in the workable old ways. To even begin to make any headway against entrenched ideas, it is necessary to convince them they need something better. Just beginning a presentation by undermining the old ways will simply arouse people’s hostility and defensive attitudes and reenforce their reasons for hanging on to whatever they believe, even though they will admit it doesn’t work very well. I know, I’ve been there too.

Perhaps the appearance that we grow wiser as we grow older isn’t because we have more facts at our disposal, since we have forgotten most of what we know, but because we suspect what we think we know and are more cautious about what we don’t know or suspect we don’t know. The young grow arrogant with what they think they know and can do, but the old observe what they don’t know, can’t know and know they probably can’t do lots of things and no one ever could. The problem isn’t lack of enterprise; the new reservations are based more on a fuller exploration and experience of the knowable unknowns. There are things which require caution even though they seem easy enough.

Before someone should take a chance on a new idea they should first be convinced that they need the benefits accruing to the new idea.

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