top of page
  • The Chambers

Do not look back; you may trip and fall!

“Things are changing so fast!” That’s a common complaint of those over forty these days. But is it really so? What about that adage: “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” Or, the other proverb: “There is nothing new under the sun!”

An even more common description of the weather is that it is nasty or so bad. Even weather forecasters on the television networks use such parlance or talk. Is it really so, and is this a fitting description of nature? Isn’t nature behaving the way nature is supposed to act? Or is nature not merely doing what nature does?

Oh, and in summer, when the temperature tops 90 degrees in New York City where I reside, the television programmers resurrect the prophets or forecasters of doom and gloom. In their ties and suits, these harbingers proclaim the end of life as we know it as a result of global warming.

Many of the more sober and thoughtful among us wonder: Was not there an Ice Age that devastated the world at a time when there was no industry or intense fossil fuel use? Don’t geographers and scientist tell us that there is the clashing of the earth’s plates and that natural erosion can cause landslides, flooding and the like?

“How easily we forget other portable inventions or technological innovations! Back in the mid-twentieth century, the invention of the transistor radio let people, especially the young people, dance on their way to school or work, with bud-like headphones attached to their ears!”

Now, in the past few years, there has been a revolution of sorts in telecommunications. Is this new? Were there not other revolutions: in politics, economics, society, industry, to name a few? Is this one any different?

Yes, with the coming and coming again of the telephone (yes, the telephone and the telegraph, inventions of the 19th century) miniaturized and more able, productivity in the labor force is down forty percent and growing in the wrong direction. Why is this? Adults are allowed to play with toys again.

Once, only the eccentric, the crazed, talked to themselves in public. Now, it’s the wired ones,, the cell phone users, with headphones attached to their mobile devices like their tablets. Oh, the weak vocabulary of these times.

Remember the dominance of the slate or tablet in ancient Rome. That is, until more modern times, when paper, reams of it, replaced the universal means of writing and calculation, that the tablet offered so economically. How easily we forget other portable inventions or technological innovations! Back in the mid-twentieth century, the invention of the transistor radio let people, especially the young people, dance on their way to school or work, with bud-like headphones attached to their ears!

Well, what do people do with the ubiquitous telephone that has become the minutest computer? Let’s look at the dangers first. People’s heads are buried in their phones as they walk the busy streets. Drives do not pull off the road to text as they travel at speeds of over 30 mph. A transaction at a bank or grocery lasts minutes when the customer is chatting and trying to conduct business simultaneously. The list of cell phone related stress inducers is very long!

Aren’t there any positive aspects of the cell phone, you may ask? Certainly, there are many. If you are a phone company or franchisee, you worried that fiber optics might introduce an era of cheap telephone service worldwide. Fortunately for such businesses, the advent of the mobile or cellular phone, which are as powerful as any lap top or desktop, allowed them to charge monthly fees for such devices that reach into hundreds of dollars.

What benefits, you may ask, for the average phone owner or user? You can look up any and everything in the world, especially since Google has copied everything in the world worth knowing or not knowing. How many things have become obsolete as a result of all this? Knowing how to use maps to find directions, for example, is no longer of use. Career choices of the past like cashiering, accounting, are becoming obsolete. Auto mechanics are aided by Identifix and All Data, (both repair sites) so who needs the skilled craftsman? Teachers and primary care physicians, too, will soon be bypassed and become lower wage earners.

Oh yes, change does come on apace. However, for the babies born today, this is the world they will know. So smile when you notice the very young and even some elderly enjoying the technology. Be thankful that you are alive to witness the difference between your day and theirs!

We live longer today thanks to medical and technological developments. There is so much we know now about the world and our bodies. Lots of money is being made by those who keep us nervous about what we eat, for example. Be sensible, listen well, and make good choices.

Do note, however: The weather is not “nasty”; it is how weather acts. Secondly, if the new or extended technology makes life better or worse, remember it is up to you to decide what you will choose to help you cope with the demands of the world. An old girlfriend used to say to me when things were not going well: ‘What you can die and leave, you can live and see.’ You should enjoy the world in which you live.

Stop nitpicking about the world and the technology now available. One of my brothers-in-law always reminds me: ‘Everything in the world has its people.’ Whatever the time period in which you live, remember: Life is a smorgasbord or buffet. Select what you need, what will help make your life better, and for dessert, try not to overdo (in this case, purchase sensibly).

In our world, there is much these days to help us cope with its demands. Count the ways it is helping you. Don’t moan and complain about technologies you dislike, or for which you have no use. Even those, whom you consider are dull and ignorant, will find some use for anything in the world. Do not hold that against them! You keep your eyes on the real world, look ahead, and you won’t stumble or fall.

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page