Why Regression Can Happen Overnight While Progress Takes Years

Teresa Roberts
3 min readMay 14, 2022


Lake Huron will outlive me and YOU (my photo)

Regression happens swiftly. It’s a domino effect that can reverse years of progress in minutes.

Other than organic change, most progress is slow, however. To change attitudes and normalize a cultural shift, it usually takes around 30 years from the introduction of the new idea to its normalization. Once it becomes normalized, most people who originally fought the change don’t even remember that they drug their feet in the beginning. They think they were always on board.

Organic change is naturally forced upon humans.

Droughts can force people to change, for example. A shortage of a particular natural resource can speed up change. Pandemics can force change.

Authoritarian regimes can speed up change, too.

Change isn’t always good. But if you want to see a society restructured quickly, authoritarian leaders provide a way to get things done, quickly. Humans are impatient and often opt for a leader who will GET THINGS DONE.

Progress is change that is built one layer at a time.

It takes dedication and an unwillingness to give up when the going gets rough. Whether it’s social attitudes, systems, or technological change that we’re seeking, it’s a long slow process.

People hate change.

Most will fight it. If it’s organic or authoritarian rule insisting on change, people seem to lose their resolve. The tough guy often wins. Some people who want change think that their ideas are so good that it’s worth enduring an authoritarian government. They see how quickly things can be changed in countries ruled by a heavy hand, and they’re anxious to follow suit.

After all, they have the best ideas. Just ask them.

Historically, there has never been as much social and systemic change that improved the lives of the common man as humans recently experienced in the last 120 years. The 20th century brought about unprecedented change.

Now, we’re facing regression which tends to follow suit.

Human progress is almost always followed by tearing everything to the ground and starting all over rather than appreciating the progress, safeguarding it, and laboriously working toward a strategic plan to take the next non violent steps forward.

War is humanity’s go-to method for solving problems.

It’s an archaic method that defies any and all forms of social progress. It returns us to our cavemen ancestry and negates enlightenment no matter how profound it might have been..

None of it matters any longer once we resort to violence.

Know what you’re up against. Burning everything to the ground is never the answer. Yet, I expect that’s what we’ll keep on doing until we either destroy ourselves or evolve.

Evolution is a slow process, too, unfortunately.

Teresa Roberts is a retired educator, author, world traveler, and professional muth buster. You can find her books on Amazon.



Teresa Roberts

Teresa is an author, world traveler, and professional myth buster. She’s also a top writer on climate change and the future.