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Time to Get Out of our Comfort Zone
Park Min-ji  |  mpark1104@gmail.com
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승인 2011.11.02  18:11:16
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn
We are stepping into the second month of the semester already! Many of us, including me, probably have set up grand goals in the beginning of the semester. I wonder how many of us are actually running after it and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone for our goals. As our keyword for this month’s edition is “edge,” we have especially selected articles that may inspire you. But first, let me tell you why we need to be seeking for the “edge.”
           I’d been living a pretty comfortable life, or rather dull, until I came across “red queen effect” in a book. An American biologist from Chicago University, Leigh Van Valen was inspired by the Red Queen character from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass,” which is the second story in Alice in Wonderland. The Red Queen is the one who always runs but never gets anywhere because everything else in the landscape is also running. She tells Alice, “it takes all the running you can do to keep in place!” Van Valen applied this metaphor in his evolutionary principle which is that regardless of how well a species adapts to its current environment, it must keep evolving to keep up with its competitors and enemies who are also evolving. Neither cheetahs nor antelopes can gain domination in the meadow of Africa. Because as one species runs faster, the other species runs away faster and they both end up at a state just enough to not starve and be endangered. The “Red Queen Effect” is telling us to do nothing and fall behind, or run to stay where you are. This kind of phenomenon is happening everywhere. Korean celebrity, Park Jin Young, once said something similar to the Red Queen Effect. He said, “Celebrity world is like a water pressure, that if you try to stay at your place, you get pushed back. If you try your best to go forth, you can barely stay at your place, and if you try your dying effort, you can then barely go forth a little.”
           In today’s society, where change and competition is greater than ever, the Red Queen Effect can be seen almost everywhere. The important question here is “How.” How should one compete and survive in today’s society? We tend to think one is either enemy or friends. But terms like “co-petite,” “frienemy” have been coined to describe a relationship where partner who is simultaneously a competitor and rival. This shows that in order to survive, you not only have to change, but also have to look out and communicate with your competitors to reach higher ends. One may think it’s better to have bold boundary, however, if it is too bold, it rather becomes a weakness. If you look at animals that have developed hard skin like crustacean, turtle, and alligator to protect themselves from enemies, they are usually slow and their environment of habitation is very limited. Also, because they are so well protected from the external attack, they are more prone to get hurt internally due to skin crack and are slow at self healing. If Naver, Wikipedia, or Google had tried to garner all the information they hold by themselves with strict boundary, it surely would’ve taken them ten times more time that it had taken. With competition and communication, we can achieve things at a faster level like the cheetah and antelope analysis.
           There is a saying,”trying to learn more from others beats trying to work smarter than others.” Let us not forget that we are living in an age where even if we sprint, we’d be staying at the same place and that in the midst of yearning for challenges and adventures, there’s a greater need to share and communicate with others in order to go forth in the right direction faster. Then surely, we’ll be pushing the edge further and be able to reach a higher level together as a society. Keeping this in mind, Chung-Ang Herald will do our best to keep everyone in the loop and connect in the mist of this never ending evolutionary race. Meanwhile, let us all get out of our comfort zone and at least try not to fall behind.
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