Technology

technology

What would we do without it, right? It’s proved useful time and time again. Saving lives, making other lives easier, and generally being extremally helpful. Except nothing is perfect. I know, I know, where would we be without computers and the like? Whereas they’ve helped us a good deal, we can live without them. We have been. For thousands of years.

I know I’ve said this before, but I work at a library. One day I was checking out an older woman’s books. As I was scanning them, a young girl, maybe four, ran in with her mother. Her face was sheer excitement. The woman laughed in a happy way.

“It’s good to see kids so excited about reading,” she said. “It makes me glad.” We exchanged token ‘Have a good day’s’, then the girl’s mother came up.

“Can you get my daughter onto one of your touch-screen terminals?”

“Sure thing.” I set the little girl up on a children’s learning computer, where she spent the rest of her library visit. Staring at a screen. No books involved.

I appreciate modern technology, I really do. But I think there’s a ‘too far’ point, and we’re getting dangerously close, Gen-Z. Did you know that there’s a push, granted a small one, to call our generation the iGeneration? Yup. There is. Because we all have phones, or macs, or tablets, and we can’t seem to get enough of them. Yes, they make our lives more colorful, more interesting and easy, but let’s not get carried away with it. Please.

Again, don’t get me wrong. I love the benefits of modern tec. It’s simple, cool, and convenient. I’m not saying we should abandon all our phones and things and throw ourselves back into the 1800’s. We wouldn’t have been able to go to the moon if it wasn’t for our computers! But look at it this way, going to the moon is a lot different than checking Snap Chat, or posting pictures of salad. We’re not lost causes yet, we can still do wonderful things with technology. Let’s just not limit ourselves with it. You can do amazing things with an iPhone, not just watch YouTube or your social media. Once more, let’s not limit ourselves, or our technology, just because we can. Let’s be the best we can be, and make technology the best it can be. I know we have more in us than Twitter, I’ve seen it. Now let’s show the world.

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The Impossible Dream

Man-of-La-ManchaIn the year 1966, a new play was written. That fact didn’t mean anything, but what the play was about couldn’t help but draw attention. It was a musical, based on the story Don Quixote, written by Miguel de Cervantes. The book is large. Very large. I should know, I had to read it for school. The fact that the influential story was condensed into a play was attractive to the public, and it became a success. The play, Man of La Mancha by name, is much more popular than the book. Why? Well, most people would rather sit in a seat and watch a play than read hundreds of pages of difficult passages. Also, the moral of the story was clearer.

In the story, Don Quixote is a normal man who drives himself crazy by reading too many stories about knights and chivalry. He takes it upon himself to become a ‘knight errant’, and he vows to rid the world of evil….. by attacking windmills and herds of sheep. What a nutcase, right? Well, yes. He’s a lunatic, but he’s also the only person in the whole story who actually makes sense.

For illustration, Aldonza is one of the main characters in the play, and she’s not exactly a heroin. She was born and forgotten by “…a mother who left me…” and she was considered the lowest of low society. When Don Quixote sees her, though, he only sees his beautiful Dulcinaia. When he sees her, he doesn’t see what the world made her to be, he sees who she could be.

The song that sold the show is still popular. “The Impossible Dream” was sung by Don Quixote in the play. I attached a video for it, please listen, it will make your day, week, month. In the song, one of the lines is “This is my quest/ to follow that star/ no matter how hopeless/ no matter how far/ to fight for the right/ without question or pause/ to be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause/”

That song is so moving because it is so real. Don Quixote is crazy. Loopy, nuts, bonkos, but he is living in a way that moves people. This play, this song, was written by Americas. We know that he’s right, we know that the rest of the actors are the ones that are crazy. We know that to fight ‘for the right, without question or pause’ is beautiful, crazy, and perfect.

So let’s live that way. Who cares if the world says we’ve lost it? Who cares if they say we’re just another generation that doesn’t understand? If they think that’s a pitiable dream, they’re the ones that don’t understand! “This is our quest! To follow that star!” Let’s chase it down, let’s be crazy. Let’s be crazy for actually living, and for seeing things as they can be, not what they were made to be. Let’s see Aldonza as Dulcinaia.

Don Quixote is a hero, but he’s not real. He’s fictional. We’re real, and we can be heroes. Not fictional, not made up, but living, breathing heroes. What’s holding us back from that?

The answer: nothing.

Busy Busy Busy….. Too Busy?

businessbusy-1-750x400We’re busy. Very busy. Some of you might be reading this post later in the week because you couldn’t even finish your cup of coffee Monday morning. If that’s the case, and you came back, great! Thank you! If it is Monday morning, and you are sitting at your computer reading this, thank you for making me a part of your beginning-of-the-week craze. You rock!

Anyway, back to the post. America is a very driven country. Almost every time we’ve set our mind to something, we’ve done it. “I am convinced that we will reach the moon in this decade…” You know what I’m talking about. But I feel, and bear in mind that this is my personal opinion, that the flip side of all this drive and future-building stuff is harmful. In decent amounts, yes. It’s great. But when it becomes an obsession, and all we strive for or think about is reaching that next moon, we lose something. We become zombie-like, hungering for one thing and oblivious to everything else. We get lost in our crazed yearning for the wonders of tomorrow, not today.

It’s not a crime to take every now and then and just…. smell the roses. It’s not illegal to keep an evening clear because  you want to treat yourself and eat some chocolate, then go to bed early.  Yes, the future is always shifting. It’s not a constant. One moon that was within reach yesterday might not be tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean we have to push for it 24/7. Yes, it’s always shifting, but it’s also always there. It can wait a day or two for you to take a breather.

Constantly moving doesn’t mean you’ll reach the moon faster. It means you’ll reach it, but you will have missed the stars.

Food

foodFood is great. It really, really is. Who doesn’t like to go out to eat, or dish up a bowl of ice cream? I grew up in the South, and some of the many foods that I ate while I was down there were hush puppies, venison, and crab (that last one was REALLY south. Key West, to be exact.). And then I’ve also lived in New York, which is very proud of its pizza. And with good reason, the stuff’s delicious. Also bagels. Those are really popular there as well.

None of these foods make anybody think America, though. Pizza is about as far from American culture as you can get, it’s Italian! And then crab is from the Pacific Islands. You get my point.

America is one of the only places you can eat a dish from the Pacific Islands for lunch, and then have Chinese or Mexican for dinner. We’re a melting pot of culture, and that means our food as well. There is no one style of food that strikes people as American, because none of it is.

We’re all American. That doesn’t mean that we dress a certain way, act a certain way, or eat a certain kind of food. It meas that we’re all connected by the same dream, the same vision. America’s culture isn’t just one thing, nothing in America is just one thing, which means that we all fit in.

Just like crab and pizza.