The planet changes, people change, life changes. And that it as it should be. Stagnation is not only dull, but - in water terms at least - dangerous.
Over the course of my not-so-long lifetime, the balance of power (political, financial, industrial) has been moving eastwards. Where once the west was all-mighty - or so it liked to think - these days anyone who skims news headlines knows that Europe and the United States are on the wane, and various national groupings like the BRICS or Chimea are on the rise.
This is partly to do with capital flight, partly to do with The Great Financial Crisis and partly because - in my opinion - the west has, by and large, become complacent.
We no longer educate our citizens to a suitable standard. Adult literacy rates are declining, not rising. We stuff our faces with junk food, getting fatter all the time, and our children are no longer assured of outliving their parents.
What a wonderful world we've created.
One of the side effects of travelling the world as a member of the F1 circus is the way in which our travels throw the differences between east and west into sharp relief.
There are cultural differences to be taken into account, naturally. And those countries currently waxing, not waning, have more money to invest in improving their education, their healthcare, and their infrastructure.
But the biggest difference I can see between west and east at present is the concept of pride. Pride doesn't mean arrogance, although many people seem to confuse the two. Pride can be as simple as taking satisfaction from a job well done, and having the desire to do that job well.
At home, I see people doing the bare minimum to keep the boss off their backs. Hell, I used to be one of those people.
But when I'm overseas - whether that's in the Middle East, the Far East, or South America - I meet endless streams of people keen to give me a good impression of their country. People go above and beyond what we think of as normal in the west, and they do so as standard.
They want to pass on the pride they feel in their country, in their culture, to visitors who will return home and spread the word about just how good [insert country here] really is.
To be honest, I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this. I don't want to slag off the west (we've got some good things going for us, honest!), and I don't want to be blind to the fact that every single country on this planet has good bits and bad bits.
But the more time I spend east of the Mediterranean, the more I become aware of the fact that we're just not competing on the same level as these hard-working, enthusiastic nations many of my countrymen falsely perceive to be backwaters.
We've lost our way. We've lost our work ethic. And if we don't watch out, we're going to lose our ability to compete. The western world is in danger of becoming a museum to our centuries of dominance.
There's a lot we could and should be learning from these emerging economies, and at present a sense of complacent arrogance is leaving us blind to the opportunities they present.