People ask me if I think the world has changed since I was a kid and again during my time as an adult and I shrug my shoulders and say no/yes/no/yes.
It is not because I am a fence sitter or afraid to take a position but because the question is as simple or as complex as you want it to be.
World history is filled with stories of lost love and things done for love. You will never stop hearing or reading tales of men and women blurring lines and or taking steps to be with the person they desire.
You will never stop hearing or reading stories about warfare and violence. Some people will always see no way or reason to share and will try to use force to take what isn’t theirs.
But you will see and read stories of great kindness too and see the evolution of humankind understanding that slavery is long and that love is love.
Ask me if I think people have regressed because they didn’t shout Will Smith down or take him out of the Oscars in handcuffs and I’ll say no.
Very few people stand up and take action and even then it might be limited. Look at what happened to Kitty Genovese and ask why more people didn’t do something.
I am not excusing Will Smith or the people at the show. Something should have happened but when push came to shove those who could have done something didn’t want to risk being blamed or so is my amateur shrink analysis.
People want the homeless to have a shelter, just not in their backyard or neighborhood.
My Parent’s World
My office supplies me with three different pieces of technology so that I can work from anywhere in the world that I allows me to connect to the internet and or make telephone calls.
Mom never engaged in any sort of business travel that I can recollect so she never had to consider what to take or not take.
Dad went on some business trips, certainly few compared to the number I engage in but again he never had to undergo the same planning/consideration about whether to take, 1, 2 or 3 devices and whether it was suits, sport coats or some version or business casual.
Ok, that last part was something he had to consider, but he never thought about whether his winter coat had pockets big enough for a phone and or tablet.
Granted the folks engaged in plenty of post 9/11 travel in which they underwent the same security procedures we all do including questions about technology.
But that was travel for pleasure.
There was a choice about whether to just bring the cell or carry a laptop too.
Dad and I had a conversation a few years back about cellphones, iPads and laptops for kids.
The family got our first personal computer when I was around 12. It was an old Texas Instruments unit with a cassette drive like we once used in cars or stereos.
It was very cool but it wasn’t something we used for school. Over time there were other computers that showed up in the house but they typically weren’t something we used or relied upon for school.
Did we get to a point where there was a computer for school? I think we shared one, but I still typed papers on a typewriter for most of high school and a chunk of college. Computer labs on campus were a big part of how I got beyond the days of White-Out.
It was different for my kids.
There was never a question of whether they needed their own computer and at best a question of how old they needed to be for a cellphone.
While we could argue to much of the world these are luxury items we can also say in many ways they are necessities now.
Can you compete in school without them?
Sure, but it is a bit like running a footrace without shoes. You are going to have to work harder and are at greater risk of injury.
But if you circle back to the question of human nature and behavior I don’t see the changes. I don’t see progression and evolution that isn’t backed and supported by a push from others and in many ways that is no different from who we were 10,000 years ago.
I set aside 15 minutes to write this because I wanted to just clear the contents of my head and put a few thoughts upon paper to germinate upon.
I did it knowing there was a risk I wouldn’t be as eloquent or as articulate as I wanted to be and I’ll let this sit overnight and see how I feel in the morning.
The world is filled with a lot of people who talk about what it should be like and how people should live but very few who are willing to do something to influence that.
But my gut feeling is that if I have to take an unscientific position on are things better or worse I’ll probably opt for better.
Most agree that slavery and war are bad and for a long time that might have been a dream for many but not something that millions could live.
And millions have lived and experienced that.
Sure, you can argue that millions have a different experience and that atrocities are rife and prevalent, but you can make a case for the other too.
And I figure while I am vertical I prefer to take a more optimistic tack and a belief that I can have some influence on making it all better in some small way.
That is my 15 minutes, guess I’ll come back tomorrow and figure out if I need to delete and or apologize for posting gibberish.