How To Grow

By Della Rucker 

[A patch of wild green veggies with purple stems bursting out of the ground, glazed with water droplets.]

[A patch of wild green veggies with purple stems bursting out of the ground, glazed with water droplets.]

No one really understands how growth happens. Of course, organisms grow by creating more cells, which they do because they have enough food and safety and water and everything else that they need, and they create those new cells according to instructions programmed into their DNA, which gets replicated when the cell divides, and….

All well and good.  But what’s the purpose of all that creating and replicating and dividing? Why not stay stable, unchanging? After all, that takes a lot less energy than creating something new, and we know that organisms from the smallest to the largest have sophisticated methods for limiting their output of energy to the minimum necessary.  It’s why reptiles hibernate, why deciduous trees drop their leaves in the fall. The energy cost of maintaining the organism on high alert outstrips the potential food energy available during that season.

Why should they keep trying to move toward something new, when where they are might work just as well and take less energy?  

Maybe the statement I should have asked made was, “No one really understands why organisms grow.”  

The answer, apparently, has a lot to do with entropy.  Even when the animal is awake and still, cells die off.  And as creatures age, that dying-off process tends to go faster, not slower. Stability isn’t an option -- you either grow, or you die.

Whether you’re a business, a student or a middle-aged professional, stability looks like the easy way to go.  Stick to how you learned to do it, adhere to what you were told in the classroom. Keep doing what you’re doing the same way, because that’s the way you know how to do it.  

Of course, another wise person said that this was the definition of insanity.  

We built Econogy on our understanding that growth, learning, innovation has to happen deeper and better and faster, whether you’re in a high school classroom or a corporate boardroom.  And we know that no age group, no profession, no degree can learn deeper and better and faster alone. Growing intelligently takes as much of everything as we can get.

As organisms ourselves, we got fooled for a while last century into thinking that you could keep doing what you learned early on, and that everything would go along fine.  But now we know that that’s not growing.

And no matter where we are in our organism’s life cycle, we must continue to grow.