The R-C Factor

The R-C Factor

By Brian Ellis

Most people I have known in my long life do not know about the R-C Factor, so let me explain what it is.

My wife Patricia was sitting on the lounge in our apartment, while I was in the kitchen area making coffee, when she surprised me with a comment totally out of the blue. She said, ‘it’s truly strange how so many things have changed in our lifetime’.

I asked her what she meant. She said: ‘Well, look at handkerchiefs like this one – they were always part of the wash, but nowadays there is the occasional one that you use, but for the most part, people use tissues. The same with cups and saucers, we don’t have any at all now for general use, mostly we drink from a mug, even when out having coffee in most cafes these days.’

This conversation made me start thinking about all the changes that have occurred in our long life together. For some reason the portable typewriter came immediately to my mind, as it seems to have totally disappeared, with laptops taking their place.

Social changes have been enormous over the past fifty years and I have no doubt we could all list numerous changes that have affected our lives in many ways. Some have brought benefits and are easy to accept, while others are hard to accept or difficult to live with, especially when the changes go against one’s principles or code of behaviour. Which made me reflect on the R/C Factor, a life’s message that I was privileged to learn about when I was in my thirties.

It was at a business meeting and we were watching a video training film. However, it started with a man standing behind a table. He resembled the film director Alfred Hitchcock and spoke like him also. He leaned below the table and came up a with a large toy which he placed down on the table and we could see its shape was that of a dinosaur.

He pointed to the toy and said: ‘This species had the R-C Factor, and it disappeared from the Earth’. He went on ‘Why? Because the dinosaurs resisted change and so became extinct’.

This was a powerful story and message that resonated with me very much. Resisting changes that come along can hold us in the past, cause stress and perhaps mean that many opportunities are missed.

In COTA’s 2018 Engagement Report there was a comment from a survey that ‘Older people feel like they are being left behind.’ What I would like to suggest that in some ways it may seem like we are being left behind, or ignored, but perhaps one needs to consider how the R-C factor, the RESISTANCE TO CHANGE, may be behind such feelings.

There have been some societal changes that are still being resisted, same-sex marriage being a stand out for many people and perhaps the ideal example. However, it has happened and resisting that as being normal in our society today will serve no purpose, only distress.

Being old, or getting older, is something we all must deal with, if we are fortunate to be having a long life. Ageing brings many challenges, especially of a medical nature, which must be dealt with, and we have to accept these changes and not resist them. They are normal, and we just must deal with them and be mentally happy in our lives. Changes will always be happening to you and a part of your life.