December 12, 2011
By claireminnoe BRONZE, Auburn, New York
claireminnoe BRONZE, Auburn, New York
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

“In the American mind change is seen as an indisputably good condition” (Kohls). According to L. Robert Kohls, author of “The Values Americans Live By”, he states thirteen values in which he gives us a better understanding as to how foreigners view American behaviors. Change was included as one of the values. I agree with Robert Kohls that change is good for our society. Without change we would not have many of our prized possessions such as, phones and computers. Change is viewed in many different ways. Some are willing to use it and try to improve their lives while others refuse change, feeling that it takes away from tradition and cultural heritage. A foreigner on the other hand, could observe the differences in the United States from their own country. It has been proven that change is a beneficial value through successful businesses and countries that believe in reform.
All cultures are exposed to change, but some are willing to accept it more than others. Many countries such as America thrive off change and improve from it. Other countries refuse to accept it. Generally there are three sources that influence change and are responsible for those who resist it. These sources include, forces at work within a society, contact between societies and changes in the natural environment (O’Neil). It is human nature to be influenced by the outside world. An example of this is when a new business owner tries to use the same tactics as a professional. If that does not work the amateur may try to use different methods that have been successful in the past. “Change is strongly linked to development, improvement, progress and growth” (Kohls). Americans are typically hard working people; we use change to improve and grow in the workforce, school, and just about every aspect of our life. For example, I have noticed a change in the school system. During elementary school, the teachers would have a student bring the attendance envelope to the main office. Now with the click of a button, absences are recorded. This shows the improvement computers have made in just a matter of years, creating new software more advanced than ever before. The changes Americans have made has resulted in the making of a more powerful nation.
Cultures that refuse change are not as successful as those who accept it. Japan is a perfect example of this. Each year Japan is a threat to natural disasters, but they do nothing to protect their buildings from the deadly earthquakes and tsunamis. The Japanese feel they are superior to any other culture and refuse international aid (Suzuki). Another reason why people fear change is they do not like to leave their comfort zone. (“What Are Positive Impacts of Change in Business?”) Other cultures refuse change for fear of loosing tradition. Three ideas that lead to change within cultures are diffusion, acculturation and transculturation (O’Neil). All of these concepts are related to merging cultures, adopting each other’s ideas. In many areas of the world, people are concerned about loosing their heritage while accepting others ideas. This is not to say they are not exposed to change because everyone is exposed to change, even if it is through the environment. It is common for humans to be uncomfortable with ideas and solutions they are not used to. This is not always a true statement when it comes to change. It has also been said that change can make a person feel more comfortable in a working or school environment (“What Are Positive Impacts of Change in Business?”). Although people reject change it has been confirmed that change is an absolute necessity to succeed. According Earnest Wassman,
“Change is the engine that drives growth and as we move forward in the technology evolution, the strong companies will change and discover better ways to conduct business, and develop more efficient methods to serve and support their channel partners, resellers, distributors and end users. Change is what created the small form factors, high densities and higher performance for lower cost with each generation.”
The desire to be the best is motivated by change. Professional athletes are always striving to make their routine better than their competitors, so they can rise to the top, and break records from the past. The same goes with business, education and just about anything that has to do with competition. Students go over and beyond to get into their school of choice, by perfecting their resume. Many volunteer on a daily basis and study countless hours to get straight A’s. Change is definitely a motivation factor and everyone should embrace it.
There are pros and cons with just about everything in life. Of course, there are instances where people make bad changes, it happen all of the time. Small businesses get the idea that they want to expand, and that is not always a good. In some cases it is best to not change anything, if the business is showing success. On the other hand, change has helped the world’s wealthiest people achieve their greatest accomplishments. I agree with Robert Kohls that for the most part change can help a person move in the right direction. The United States is a perfect example of changes that have been both good and bad. One minute we are in a recession, and then we hear the news say, American consumers broke all records on Black Friday. Another example is, fifty years ago Americans would never have thought the United States would one day have an African American President. The bottom line is the United States is evolving every minute and it all originates from change.
Change is one of the most important values in Robert Kohls article “The Values Americans Live By”. Change affects every aspect of our life, and is the most beneficial. What if there was no such thing as change, where would we be? Sitting on the couch next to a radio trying to receive the local news. I am not saying this was a bad era to live in; my Great-Grandparents lived a great life while getting their news off the radio. It is just so amazing how we as humans have been able to evolve and learn to make the newest and best technology. Without change one person would not be able to make more money than the next. Foreigners may be more hooked on tradition and heritage, which is also a great trait to have, but even if the ultimate foreigner resists change, they are always changing because it is part of life.

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