“There’s a moment where you have to choose whether to be silent or stand up” – Malala Yousafzai
I have spent the last 4 months running from pillar to post with little direction, teetering on the edge of frustration continually, constantly researching the continual flow of misinformation (in so many areas) while, in reality, accomplishing absolutely nothing. That probably qualifies me for a communication specialists job with Kenney’s Communication office. Regardless lack of purpose is not a good thing for me and after 4 months of an increased blood pressure meds (rhetorically speaking) it finally hit me, get back to doing what I’m best at, pissing people off exercising my persistence to “speak out”.
Words and history matter but both have to come with context of the experience, not by eliminating it in school curriculums. Unfortunately it is the “elders” that hold that history and the least likely to adapt to the new world of social media. Again most of my peers have email, can book a vacation, do the occasional Skype/FaceTime call, maybe check some news but that is where their interest ends. There is also a component of that generation who were half way through their career before being introduced to this technology. Jokingly referred to as the VHS generation. That is what the 80’s were about, legislate, regulate and a heavy move towards credentialism.
Like it or not we are now a technological society. One of the silver-linings growing up in a hospital before social media and limited TV (I believe Calgary had 3 stations) you have the opportunity to broaden your horizon using literature. I was 14 year old confined to a hospital bed for six month the first time I read Jacques Ellul, the concept of a technological society is not new, it was just easier to suppress prior to social media. Now is not the time to fall back on the “generation shaming” game. That’s been going on for forty years and has moved us nowhere EXCEPT creating bigger ideologic chasms and a shrinking ability to compromise.
So rather than just brood I did a “belief system” shake up and readjusted (called adaptive) my believes to make sense out of todays world. Let me be clear here, I adjusted my beliefs I didn’t go COVID crazy. However, armed with that recognition I am now (fingers crossed) better prepared to build a new sense of purpose (without purpose you die) to prepare for the nest chapter of my life. It was during this re-evaluation that an epiphany hit me. So many of my peers are starting to acknowledge the reality of aging, the COVID crisis has forced a whole generation of Canadians to reassess their own sense of mortality. Stay in place, social distancing, cohorts groups, etc are all relativity new terms in these changing times but they are not really new “concepts”. But we’ll deal with that along the way, for now…
The last time I sat at this keyboard (seriously sat, not just checking cute kitty videos) I was vibrating with that adrenaline induced need for 2020 to end. Who didn’t want 2020 to end? I mean, “could it get any worse”? Apparently it could, as I found out in the back of an ambulance (nothing serious) Jan 2 and a weeks hospitalization to start 2021. That kind of planted some seeds of hopelessness unnoticed in the recesses of my mind during a pretty bleak period. Then, within a week of discharge, Calgary got hit with almost a month of -30 temperatures which just further isolation so I definitely started 2021 with a bang.
It’s taken 4 month (almost) for my pandemic fever to break and I feel like I need to get back to my “cohort” circle. I woke up this morning, had my coffee, flipped on my electronic world, saw the COVID stats, checked the weather forecast and a few newsletters I’m involved with. The same newsletters and some social media contacts that has formed part of my “stay in place” practice. The timing is perfect, so many little things coming together and I’m left feeling the way one does when finding a favourite old housecoat tucked away in the back of the closet. You can still smell the memories on it but you also realize it should go to the thrift shop.
I made a commitment in my last post about change, new look and direction. I think it is time to fulfil that commitment. As I launch myself back into the world of bloggers it is fitting that this is the last time I will be writing on this computer. It is time to say goodbye to my little iMac for years of faithful work. After ten years of many late nights (or early mornings) of caressing the keyboard of this baby, filing, building information libraries, half my life is on this computer, so many little macros I’ve created over the years. Following an increase of “Legacy System” alerts, I had to face the reality that this ten year old baby couldn’t handle the pressures of the rapidly increasing speed of social media. Everything has its limits but part of this is my own fear of letting go. If it was a fifteen year old resource, do I really need it? Time to really declutter.
So in my own little contribution back to the community I will completely clean this one off and donate it. Given the current COVID restriction here in Calgary for online learning I found an organization that is refurbishing tablets and computers for those families faced with the cost implications of devices required in a family of, say, four kids.
There’s an organization here in Calgary, Yescentres.com, that works with kids. The current pandemic has kept them very busy and one of their programs is to collect tablets, desktops etc provide is the distribution of new or used tablets/computer for families with kids having to learn from home. Again pandemic but financial hardship for many families. So this has encouraged me to get the things I really need moved from one desktop to a new laptop. My desktop, ten years of history in there, over 3500 songs in my music in there, this is almost like watching your oldest child head out for university or some form of advanced learning. It’s a little nostalgic but also cathartic. Once it’s done hopefully some young inquiring young mind can have a tool that is being deprived of so many families in this new world of online learning. And personally I think we are far from the end.
I have found my “purpose” again and that is to be continually looking at societal issues through a historical lens based on my own experiences. So the next time you hear from me, either hit delete or jump into the conversation. My next big challenge is to see how well I can get using my Jimmie Dean sausage fingers for the laptop keyboard. So, for now, this is me signing off from, what feels like, the latest of a long list of friends that left before their time, an old close favoured friend.
Later all, have a good weekend and stay healthy