Change is hard, or so they say. I think most of us would say we’ve changed, but deep down when you get to the core, we really change very little over time. Sigmund Freud proclaimed our personality to be set for life by the time we are five years old. I tend to agree with Freud on this point and many others. At the core, I don’t think I have changed much. I tend to think that we don’t change as much as we evolve.
I think that I’ve evolved. For instance the other day I bought a Volkswagen. Seems like a small thing, but I’ve never bought anything but a Ford brand new. I doubt that I would have sought out a Volkswagen dealer, but this car happened to be sitting on a Ford lot. It’s possible it was there because recently Volkswagen has had some bad press. The bad press is over producing faulty emission systems in diesel vehicles. Probable not the smartest decision they ever made, but since I was buying a car and not their politics, it doesn’t bother me in the least. The purchase is a surprising decision on my part. I’ve always felt very connected to Ford’s because my father loved Ford’s most. He was a very mechanical mind, born at the turn of the century and lived through the progressive era. He lived to see every World War the United States was involved in, the new millennium, and then the fall of the World Trade Towers. He managed to raise nine children keeping all of our used cars running with spare parts taken from scrap yards.
There are some other historical discrepancies for Volkswagen that might be considered negative impacting my decision. During World War II Volkswagen’s were built by concentration camp prisoners, considered slave workers. You might think that too would bother me, however I feel very connected to my new purchase because of this history. Hitler was co-founder of Volkswagen. During this period he attempted to wipe out an entire race of Jewish people. A mad man by any standards. He claimed the Jewish race was a menace to society and made no contributions to the human race. YET he needed THEM to build cars for Germany. I find this both ironic and inspiring. That people imprisoned and murdered by a madman, made huge contributions to the world that continue to affect and progress it’s progress long after. Until the recent bad press, Volkswagen sold more cars worldwide than any other car company. They are by any standards amazing. For me, my new car is a cognitive momento, reminding me that each human life has value. That human beings in all our imperfections, are gifted and exceptional.
Obviously I wasn’t there when my dad walked through Buchenwald concentration camp and witnessed Hitler’s genocide, he only told of this a few times in my presence. However, I know for certain he too would be in awe with my car and the history it holds for the Jewish people. That even under such horrific circumstances, these people had the resilience to maintain and accomplish something that still serves the world today. Dad was always for progress. I know if he had been with me at Ford on Saturday, he would have given me the “auction nod” on my find, telling me to bid it up and take it home.