Germans view the past and the present as two points along a continuum. They establish a Weichen or course, path, trajectory. But not unchangeable. Neither automatic nor preordained.

Although people can affect real, even radical change, the Germans are realistic about the possible range of change. Every path has its past, where it came from. Seldom can people suddenly move in a totally different direction. Seldom do the Germans want to. Seldom are they persuaded when it is proposed.