I’ve been spending more time at the community pool. They have different diving hours when the diving boards are open. Despite the pool guests being about 50/50 kids to adults, during the diving sessions it’s about a 5/95 split of adults to kids off the diving board. The adults that do go tend to already be skilled at it, much better than the average kid jumping off.
There is a minuscule amount of adults the will try something past a certain age where their ego kicks in, or when they start to perceive issues like it will hurt, my hair will get wet, or I’ll hurt myself. While some of that is true, the likelihood of being hurt is pretty small. Different height boards mean you can take a much smaller impact if you choose. Most people don’t do anything fancy except enjoy the feeling of flying through the air before making a splash anyways.
Yet, there is a resistance. A sense that by adulthood one should know their “place.”
If you extrapolate this to society today, you can see the problem here. Technology keeps changing people’s “place.” Once upon a time, you could work in data entry your whole career, now Artificial Intelligence is taking those jobs by being able to decipher handwriting.
Once upon a time, you could have made a career as a calculator, literally computing formulas for engineers, today software does that.
It’s likely soon we’ll be saying, “Once upon a time, you could make money delivering things or driving people places,” but eventually self-driving cars will disrupt that.
We’ll soon have a bunch of people who need to dive in to something new whose natural instincts hold them back from taking the leap. I’m not sure how I would get those to dive into the pool who aren’t already doing it, but it’s definitely something we’ll need to think about in the future. The idea of having a “place” in the world is going to become more and more scarce. The idea of “trying new things constantly” will continue to grow in value.
The next time you have the opportunity to try something new as an adult, think about those adults ignoring the diving boards.