Progress, noun: 1) a movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage: the progress of a student toward a degree. 2) advancement in general. 3) growth or development; continuous improvement. 4) forward or onward movement
While the dictionary includes "forward" as the direction of progress, onward can be lateral or even backward.
“We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”--C.S. Lewis
When I was a child, my mother would hang clothing on the line to dry when the weather permitted. I would always beg to just put them in the dryer but my mother insisted it was a waste of energy.
I abandoned my mother's ways when I left home too busy and progressive to bother with a clothes line, that is until I got married. I bought a clothesline and hung the clothes to dry outside on nice days because as it turns out mother was right.
Progress is not defined by the speediest course of action but the most prudent. Albert Einstein said “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity." Einstein may have been on to something.
Many are opting for simplicity, abandoning cars for bicycles and McMansions for independent living. We are going organic and green and railing against the forces that remain staunchly rooted in the status quo. Progressive thinking has led us to the realization that moving forward means stripping some things away.
Writers seem to have an inherent grasp of this concept. We have embraced technology but we also hold on to the tried and true. We use our computers but still carry our moleskins, notebooks or like Melissa Donovan our Watson Guptill Fickle Writer. We may buy the executive desk but often abandon it for a spot in the garden or the small table in the corner where the light hits just right.
The Kindle and audiobook are mere supporting players in our reading repertoire for we still love the weight of a book in our hands and the sound of a turning page. We see the complex but appreciate the mundane. Our stories are often not about the technological prowess of mankind but simply mankind. The writers eye sees through the maze of detail and is able to ferret out the steps that will get us to the goal, in whatever direction they lead.
What are your thoughts on progress? Have you ever moved backward to advance? Share your ideas and thoughts in the comments.