Heraclitus and Ham Radio

Recently I’ve seen another resurgence of “ham nostalgic reminiscence” where hams lament why things are not just like there were in (pick a date) today?

They seem to forget that they also are not what they were back in their warmly remember past!

Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher (birth circa 544 BC), is recorded as saying:

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

Well he actually said something like this on several recorded occasions, in ancient Greek of course!

(You can read more about Heraclitus at: https://theinvisiblementor.com/you-cannot-step-into-the-same-river-twice/)

The premise behind Heraclitus’s observation is that just as situations change, so we change.

Songwriters get “it” – like Seals & Crofts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvyDKkMYEZ0 or a Frank Sinatra song of similar thoughts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5AwrMuv0hU but as individuals we lean on a personal idea of permanence. In are early development we gain an concept of the “idea of person permanence” which later in life we extrapolate into an idea that we stay the same (except when it comes time to compare ailments with our peers of course!).

In ham radio terms we never can go back – everything changes including ourselves. Truly we cannot enter that same water in the river with the same person again.  Just isn’t going to ever happen exactly the same way it did in the past.

Embracing change is a healthier and more satisfying approach.  We know we change – typically health changes, hearing declines, dexterity takes a hit, and stamina tapers.  So be it.  As much of personal changes are gradual, and often have offsetting positive changes in skills, learning and experience, we learn to cope.  Or not if we cave, but then those folk who cave are not likely to be worried about reading my blog either.

On the hobby end modes come and go, regulations change, conditions change on both short term and long cycle patterns, and gear changes.  I would argue that at the same period of time where CW has become “an elective” in the ham’s skills that Networking Skills have become an imperative for most hams.  Change.

If you have a personal goal of life-long-learning being a ham today is an exciting time.  And guess what, there is plenty of opportunity to keep operating they way you always did if you want to run “old style” provided that style meets current regulations.

Exciting time indeed!



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