Like If You Remember

A number of my Facebook friends post pictures of items from an earlier time -- the 50's and 60's - memories of their childhoods. There is always the caption "like if you remember" this piece of nostalgia from a presumably simpler time.

Remember mail slots - when the mailman came to your door and deposited the mail through a slot that landed the mail inside your house? We had one in the house I grew up in but over time the local post office had them replaced with boxes outside the houses. The mail carrier still walks the route there to deliver snail mail.

My son lives in a house in Albuquerque, NM that still has a mail slot. The mail is deposited in a basket that sits on the floor. The mail carrier still walks the route there too. In my neighborhood, mail carriers drive trucks and deliver mail to a box that sits on the street. I read recently that the U. S. Postal Service wants to install "pods", like the ones in townhouse neighborhoods, in all residential neighborhoods to reduce labor costs.

I remember how exciting it was to receive a letter in the mail. Now I cringe at how fast my e-mail fills up. Times have changed. There was a time when we were so dependent on the mail. Is it a matter of time that snail mail and mail carriers become obsolete? We have to know where we've been to know where we are going.

The technology is great but it can't replace thinking and judgment. It can't draw on lessons from the past. A friend in New Mexico has a grandson-in-law who farms. He grew up farming, learning from his parents and grandparents. He learned how to read nature, forecasts, and his instinct. He now has his home outfitted with many, many electronic and technology devices to assist him. But there are times he questions the readings and follows his instinct. He understands where his been. He takes advantage of his past as well as the technology that the present offers.

Organizations, like people, need to understand their historic roots. They need to draw on the foundations of the past in order to succeed in the present and shape the future. Do you know the origins of your organization? Do you know when, where, why and how it began. Do you know who its founders were? Understanding where you've been is very powerful knowledge for paving a path for future growth and success.


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