Do I belong in this day and age? Do I feel comfortable being a citizen of the 21st Century? If I do, explain why…But if I don’t, when in human history would I rather be?
These questions came to me in an email message courtesy of both The Daily Press and Plinky. I really didn’t need a whole lot of time to think about it. So these are some of my answers (that time will allow me) to those questions
I am very comfortable being a citizen of the 21st century because :
1) I have the opportunity to go and pursue an education (which I have done) and go for the job of my dreams (or one that will provide me the ability to fund my passion(s)).
2)The opportunity to go anywhere …and I do mean anywhere…without fearing that you are not allowed to be here; there was a time that this was not always possible.
3)The technology we have that allows me to talk on the phone, watch a feature length film or television show(and record the show as well), pay bills, download and read a book, magazine, or listen to music…even posting an entry to my blog with this one device; thereby eliminating the need to carry around several items.
4) And the most important to me…you are never too old to try your hand at just about anything…I mean opportunities abound! All is needed is the nerve!!! 🙂
However, as with each start of a new century, comes challenges . Here are some concerns I have that are in “slow simmer” and could start to “boil over”
1) Education. Programs in the arts, health and physical education have been either cut or reduced, along with teaching positions in some school districts. That also includes library materials and staff. For some students, who have no computer access outside of the school, or funds to purchase books via Barnes and Noble or Amazon.com, this may be their only option. That does not sit well at all.
There seems to be more of going to school in my opinion on ” learning how to take tests.” What kind of world will that give you once you begin to start the business of living? Think about it.
These young people are going to be our future leaders one day….
2) No civility/no respect/not wanting to be responsible… or should I say all of the above.
A response written in four parts.
a) It seems we have lost respect for each other; people will say anything to you or about you regardless whether it is true or not, whether or not it is disrespectful…because “I feel like it!” What kind of an answer is that?
b) Road rage. There was a case here about a year or so ago a gentleman was driving too slow and found himself in the way of a road race…on the freeway. It pissed one of the drivers (as in one of the racers) that he pull up next to the car and shot the gentleman, who later died. What were racing for? Were they high? Were they bore? Or may be they “felt like it”.
c) I am not employed…
I want to say out front, I am NOT talking about those who are continuing trying to seek employment after losing their job whether or not by their own hand…I know your pain because I myself have been there. I am referring to those individuals who all they want to do is sit at home and do draw welfare or whatever free money (if I can say that) is out there. And they have all the latest crop of new items (PC, smartphone, tablet, cars, new nikes or whatever is the latest new brand sneaker there is… ) Can someone explain this to me?
d) Outsourcing of jobs.
One of many reasons for unemployment is a good part of our jobs have been outsourced from the US to other countries. The reason that always seem to be given is that there is not skilled individuals to fill those positions. What I also see that there is not any type of education and/or training available to do these type of jobs, and a lot of the courses needed to do them are not being taught in school (real world applications and not just textbook knowledge) again going back to education.
3)The future of television.
Newton Minow (former FCC chairman) once gave a speech to the National Association of Broadcasters on May 9, 1961, regarding his views on television and its role in serving the public. The phrase most remember from that speech for me is the following: “… When television is good, nothing — not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers — nothing is better. But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite each of you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there for a day without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland.” ** However, the words most remembered are the the following: “vast wasteland”.
With very few exceptions, television is just that today…a vast wasteland… like that Bruce Springsteen song, “57 Channels and nothin’on”. (That topic will be discussed in a later post.)
Overall, though, I cannot see myself in no other century then now. I have opportunities and choices that my parents did not have, and course it is not perfect, (altough it looks like there are more minuses than pluses based on my responses) there are and will continue to be problems we will face and will God-willing work on finding solutions for.
In closing, I must not ever forget those individuals who have sacrifice and/or gave their lives so that I and others can take advantage of those opportunities presented to pass them on to others. So, on behalf of those individuals… I thank you.
**Newton N. Minow, “Television and the Public Interest”, address to the National Association of Broadcasters, Washington, D.C., May 9, 1961.