You and I know very well that resistance to change is always one of the inhibitors of progress. And this point is best illustrated by a historical event that happened in the field of basketball. From the Signs of the Times courtesy of Pacific Press comes this beautiful story.
Do you know that on the night of December 30, 1936, a crowd of more than 17,500 turned out at the old Madison Square Garden in New York City, to see Long Island University, the nation’s number-one basketball team with a 43-game winning streak, oppose Stanford, the defending Pacific Coast Conference champion. Stanford ended LIU’s winning streak with a 45-11 victory, but something more important happened.
The crowd in fact had mostly come to see Hank Luisetti, Stanford’s 6 foot 2 inch, 185-pound sophomore. He was the only player known for shooting the ball with one hand while he hung in the air, in defiance of basketball style. Everyone else was shooting the old style: two-handed set shots or hook shots. The huge publicity celebrating Luisetti’s shooting style did not change that the goal was putting the ball into the basket, but it forever changed how the game was played. But not without stubborn resistance. The establishment felt it was not the right thing to do. “That’s not basketball,” Nat Holman, the fabled City College of New York coach, said at the time. “If my boys ever shot one-handed, I’d quit coaching.”
Luisetti was voted college player of the year in 1937 and 1938. He finished second to George Mikan in the Associated Press’s poll to select the best player of the first half of the twentieth century.
Hank Luisetti died on December 17, 2002, living plenty long enough to see his style perfected and embellished by the likes of Earl Monroe, Julius Erving, and, of course, Michael Jordan. Had somebody not had the courage to break convention, then basketball today would have remained static and boring.
Through out history you will see that resistance to change has always been there. Hindsight is 20-20 vision. Today as we look back we find it humorous. Take for instance this story:
In the late nineteenth century, a controversy erupted among educators about a new American invention. For decades, students had used lead pencils in doing their work. But in 1880, a technological breakthrough came. For the first time, they began attaching rubber erasers on the ends of pencils.
This had never been done before. And many educators opposed the use of this newfangled pencil on the ground that it encouraged students to make mistakes. “Let them avoid errors in the first place, and they won’t need an eraser.”
When calculators were introduced accounting and engineering professors were against the machine. The devices were prohibited entry into the classroom. One accounting professor proclaimed with passion and conviction that those who persist in using the calculator will become dumb. Of course today, if you are not using the calculator you are already dumb. When was the last time you ever see someone carrying the slide rule and algorithm to class? Hardly.
Be open to change. But stick firm to biblical values.
These are the only thing that should never change for it they do change then they are not considered values in the first place.
Make change your friend. People who soar and succeed are those who refuse to live in the past but whole eyes sparkle with the prospect of the future embracing change along the way.