To Adapt

How do we become who we are? You intentionally or accidentally walk down one street instead of others. You meet someone who becomes your worst adversary and another person who becomes an ally. You turn down a job that you should not have rejected but work at another job and cope with the drudgery. You met someone who became your lover; you married or later parted company. There were good times and extremely difficult trials.

Some days you put your nose to the grindstone and go about the continuous act of changing your mindset to adapt to the evolving or revolutionary times. Perhaps you succeed; perhaps you fail miserably. Your life turns out OK despite many regrets and failed efforts. We either adapt to circumstances or we somehow make the circumstances adapt to us. Those choices and rejections lead to where we are and who we are right now.

“As natural selection acts by competition, it adapts the inhabitants of each country only in relation to the degree of perfection of their associates; so that we need feel no surprise at the inhabitants of any one country, although on the ordinary view supposed to have been specially created and adapted for that country, being beaten and supplanted by the naturalised productions from another land.”–Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

Like it or not, everything in the Universe is under constant, never-ending change. With no variation, no variety, no diversity, no evolution in our ever changing world, any species or individual who cannot or will not adapt is ultimately doomed. Variety is not the spice of life; variety is the very essence of life.

Adaptation skills are vital in commerce as well. Companies that fail to satisfy the changing tastes of consumers will wither away and either fail or become acquired by another company. The same goes for a company’s resource base. When raw materials become more scarce, the costs increase. The company must reassess its manufacturing processes, adjust the cost to profit margins, or both. Demand for the company’s products may even vanish overnight. The company must adapt to the changing market or shutter their doors.

Meantime, in our individual lives, intellectual versatility and adaptability skills, largely determine whether or not we thrive. We feel content and relatively secure when our lives are in relative harmony with circumstances. The problem is that Mother Nature never conforms nor appeals to our complacency and wishes. Unless our habits and beliefs shift, our basic intelligence is useless. Only those people who expand their intelligence skills to meet changing paradigms will survive and thrive. Everyone else relegates themselves to resentment and regret. Turning back the culture to so-called better days is physically impossible and unwise even if it is possible to do so because the Universe has moved on.

“A young outcast will often feel that there is something wrong with himself, but as he gets older, grows more confident in who he is, he will adapt, he will begin to feel that there is something wrong with everyone else.”–author, musician, philosopher, Criss Jami

I relate to Jami’s statement in many ways. As one of the uncool kids in school, I was overly critical about myself. Regardless of what I tried to do to fit in with my classmates, I remained an outcast. This changed when I entered college. With the wider variety and diversity of students and instructors, I found myself in sync with more people. I was exposed to different ideas and philosophies. I befriended students from other cities and nations. I witnessed how they adapted to the college and then realized I was changing with them in my own ways without becoming mainstream.

I believe that to adapt is more than merely living; to adapt is to thrive. At least this is how it seems from my subjective point of view.


The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes 19th-20th century critic, novelist, and poet, Remy de Gourmont. “To have a solid foundation of skepticism, that is to say, the faculty of changing at any moment, of turning back, of facing successively the metamorphoses of life.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, cultural highlights, philosophy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to To Adapt

  1. bloom|time says:

    I feel like the trendy social work word for this is resilience—that you can adapt and withstand difficult moments. I think it’s the single most important mindset I wish for my kids. At nearly 50, it’s pretty easy to look around and see the college mates who are thriving are adapters… rolling with the punches of life but always getting back up, stronger. The few who are miserable and stuck are the few who cling to victim mentality… which at its base is a demand that the world (and those around you) caters to your wishes, without you doing a thing. And when that doesn’t happen voila! You get to be a whiny never ending victim of your own, perfectly normal life.

  2. I basically agree with you and I know that one of my greatest weaknesses is that I often find it difficult or unwilling to adapt. For example, I will not adapt to a world of TV entertainmat or participate in any hype just because all people around me do so.. Yes, that makes me an outsider, but one can also adapt to this situation 🙂 🙂

  3. Yernasia Quorelios says:

    💜 “How do we become who we are ?” Parents, Other Primary CareGivers and Authority EveryOne; then Friends and Lovers Both Dormant and Active…but, Most Importantly, who We Perceive OurSelves To Be at Any Moment in 3DLinearTime EveryBody


  4. rkrontheroad says:

    I have always embraced change in my life, and often sought it. To adapt might be the other side of the coin, in a way. To be able to change when circumstances or external forces create change in your life. Good discussion.

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