Apparently this geeza called Heraclitus said that everything is in a state of flux. Everything is always changing and never constant, never the same. You never step in the same river twice an’ all that.
I think the greatest evidence that this is true for me has been the developents within social circles of friends since the end of compulsory education. There is a compulsion to believe, when you are in primary school and secondary school, that all your peers are just like you. They have the same goals as you, want to do the same things as you, you share the interests and want to talk about the same things. I think for the great part that at this stage of life that this is mostly true. If anything because many seeds look the same before they grow. It is only when they blossom that one can really tell them apart. [Excuse the analogy].
However, as time progresses and to the greatest effect when we leave compulsory education I have found that people tend to tread their own paths. Some are similar to your own and some are different. People are, after all, their own beings and what a boring place the world would be if we all chose the same paths in life. Nevertheless it still amazes me in its diversity [in an interested rather than shocked or dismissive manner] at the different routes friends from school do make. Some choose work, some choose further education, some choose family and some choose nothing [at least for the meantime].
It is this explosion which i think is a great shame in some respects although in the majority it is something to be celebrated. To add an image, imagine a container which fizzes away but ever increasing strength. At this stage he contents is kept in much the same place doing much the same thing. However, after a length of time the container explodes with quite violent effect. The contents lands all over the place and is no longer static. You may want to think that school was this container which kept us as students in the same place doing the same things until one day it could no longer hold us and from that moment we lay all over the place, geographically and socially, and no longer static.
One of lifes little ironies that taunts me at the moment is that at a time in our lives when our friends as a whole have never been so mobile – more people have cars and have passed their test than at any stage before; at a point when we have never had so much dispsable income – be it income from a job or a student loan, it is possibly the most difficult to get everyone all in one spot at once. To think for 13 years of our life this was a daily occurence: Monday to Friday 8:30am to 3:15pm.
Furthermore we were in such a hurry to grow up, to look older, to go to clubs, to go into town, to be able to drink, to be able to drive that I think people maybe never quite appreciated the unique opportunities that we had that we will never have again.
All in all this sounds a wee bit melodramatic, a bit oldman-esque perhaps but i think it is a valid comment to make at a time when many people of our age have started full time work or are about to start it. From here on in its the 9 to 5, the Monday to Friday, and the 25 working days holiday a year [if you’re lucky]. How easy will it be to stay in contact and to see friends you have spent the majority of your life with when the list of obligations we take on is only likely to get larger: the job, the car, the student loan, the mortagage, the boy/girlfriend, the kids.
I think it would be difficult to argue against Heraclitus and his view thata the world is constantly in motion and that things are always changing and will continue to do so. I just wish – especially given the speed at which the last three years have flown by – that it would all just slow down a bit.