Chinese Proverb: When the wind changes direction, there are those who build walls and those who build windmills.
I found this proverb recently and loved it. As with so many of the wise proverbs from China it has much in it that challenges our thoughts and points to our opportunities.
We know that the world has changed in terms of global communication and that we now inhabit a “flat planet” which is a global village. How we react to the change is the key.
The proverb challenges us to ask if we react to change by building stronger and higher walls or whether we go along with the new “wind” that is blowing and try to turn it to our advantage.
There are those who see the change in the wind and decide that we need to think about new things and opportunities. They are the ones in education who are in the vanguard of the revolution to introduce new technology into schools and indeed rethink what a school should look like and feel like. They are the ones who are getting us to look at the opportunities for “changing literacies” and creating lifelong learners.
The wall-builders are deciding that the only defence is to strengthen the old ways. They want to step up the old tried and tested methods and reinforce this with more tests and exams.
The wind will not change though and cowering behind the thicker walls will not help those behind them. Our administrators and politicians need to understand that the end result of a continuous wind is erosion of the fabric of the wall. Better to go along with the wind, build windmills and create a new energy that all can benefit by.