Consider neophobia (fear of the new) and neophilia (love of the new). A recent NYT article proposed that disgust is at the core of human behavior—we are oriented by what we can and cannot tolerate, what attracts or repulses us. It's not a stretch to see how this is reflected in all aspects of society from eating habits to racism. We can see how neophobia and neophilia become mindsets; we can consider how this impacts progress. In between these two words is an entire philosophy that asks, what would we prefer to embrace and what would we prefer to turn away from? Essentially, what are we afraid of and why? How do we find a way to love what we think we should ignore, dismiss, or worse: actively hate? Pondering this mindset might be a key to open what's locked, shift what's stuck, or heal what's broken.
My granddaughter has a new tooth, her first one—one might say a "neo-tooth." Ultimately, everything about my granddaughter is both neo and in new or revived form. She evolves each month, and she's an absolute delight and inspiration. My granddaughter embodies neophilia. She's also the human prototype: both the teacher and the lesson. Dear friends: think about that.