When we’re in the midst of highly turbulent change it’s easy to lose perspective. Here are a few observations I recently came across in my electronic library to put change in historical context.

“In times like these, it is helpful to remember that there have always been times like these.”
Paul Harvey, American radio commentator

“Contrary to what most everybody believes, however, this transition period is remarkably similar to the two transition periods that preceded it during the nineteenth century: the one in the 1830s and 1840s, following the invention of railroads, postal services, telegraph, photography, limited-liability business, and investment banking; and the second one, in the 1870s and 1880s, following the invention of steel making; electric light and electric power; synthetic organic chemicals, sewing machines and washing machines; central heating; the subway; the elevator and with it apartment and office buildings and skyscrapers; the telephone and typewriter and with them the modern office; the business corporation and commercial banking.”
Peter Drucker, author of 39 books and hundreds of articles on leadership, management, and organization effectiveness. Widely considered to be the father of “modern management.”

“What if globalization is not a new trend, but a return to a pattern of life that dates back more than a dozen centuries, shaping the world long before computers, before mass media, before capitalism…. This new school of thought — dubbed ‘archaic globalization’ by some practitioners – is about to transform our understanding of the last thousand years, now that several of its adherents have published important large-scale studies that have begun to revolutionize entire fields of history.”
“When did our lives go global? Try 300 AD”
By Doug Saunders, The Globe & Mail

“These social and economic changes… were uneven and unsettling. They opened up differentials between groups and between different societies. They spawned lust for wealth, envy, and distrust of neighbors. They led to overseas wars, unequal taxation, social turmoil, and the questioning of established authority, royal and religious. The turmoil was worldwide.”
A description of 1780 by C.A. Bayly, Cambridge University historian and author of a historical study on globalization The Birth of the Modern World