The last couple of years have really been challenging to put it mildly. With all the advances in all areas of our lives (including medicine), it totally leveled me to see the magnitude the pandemic has ravaged in the entire world. There is a wonderful quote by Oprah Winfrey:
“People Never Fail to Amaze Me. They Face the Unimaginable with A Shot of Grace and A Rush of Adrenaline; They Steel Their Nerves; They Summon Their Cool or Anger or Faith Or Whatever It Takes To Pull Them Through, And They Go On To Live Another Day.”
I like to think that people really do want to “rise to the occasion” yet this pandemic has made our country more divided, more hostile, nastier, and violent. I know we only see a snippet of what goes on in the world through all the media sources but it seems that the good in people is diminishing and the negativity in people is growing exponentially. I have always felt that if people would have to sit before their grandparents and great grandparents and explain their behavior the world would be a better place.
As a child I dreamt of having a car like the Jetson’s and to have a Rosie robot maid and push button everything. Guess what…it came true. The saying “be careful what you wish for” is so true. Growing up you would come home and if the phone rang you answered it never worrying about scammers and unscrupulous salespeople. If you weren’t home people would call back.
Then we got the answering machine…wow…game changer. No more missing an “important” call and you could call them back. This was so cool and helpful. What could be better? Next, we got the fax machine. No more claiming the bid was in the mail when you hadn’t even completed it…just fax it over! Can you see where this is going? Tension and stress are increasing, we are working harder and longer, sacrificing time with the promise of “comp” time off. Did that ever materialize for anyone? Not for me.
Oh, we thought we had reached the pinnacle but no, next we got the email! Now we could have instant communication and we found ourselves tied to the computer. Now, more of our precious personal time is being spent working. The bright side is when we did finish for the day, we could leave work and the computer behind. Oh, guess what…our phones became our personal portable computer, and we would never have our time to ourselves again.
Let’s add a cherry to the top of all this “progress” shall we? Let’s add social media to the fray. Great opportunity to keep in contact with friends and family but who knew it was the perfect place to spam people, attack people and tell lies! Good grief people, think of how proud your grandparents and great grandparents would be to see you behave so poorly!
I, for one, can’t wait to retire and when I do, I WILL change my phone number, email address, and abandon all forms of social media. We must regain our civility, slow down and treat people with respect and compassion. It’s ok to work hard, but we must balance our work and personal time and I mean to regain my personal time. Take a walk, cook a meal from scratch, work in the yard and garden, get to know and talk to your neighbors. Let’s stop oversharing and just have a conversation with people and learn about them and what makes them different. It’s ok to have a different opinion, it doesn't make them your enemy. Let’s all take a deep breath. Wow, to be better human beings and everyone gets along! I just finished watching the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics and wish we could follow their lead when they treat all athletes regardless of race, sex, nationality, sport ethnicity as a fellow human being! What a wonderful world we would have!
Oh, and if you see George Jetson, let him know I want to have a talk with him!