Time and Again

I can remember not too many years ago in a meeting with school administrators, telling them my belief that computers would soon be in use by everyone and even the schools would have websites with teacher and parent interaction available. They thought I was crazy. Change is certainly readily accepted today (although by some reluctantly,) and often held at bay by other forces like the use of wooden telephone poles because of the immense stockpiles yet to be depleted. Even on the personal level many have had, may even still have, relatives still dialing up AOL, regarding Facebook as an evil, completely afraid of a system that has already washed over them.

I believe in my lifetime, the use of the driverless car by the elderly (me) the young, the infirmed, will grow so much and so fast as to be commonplace. Look at the developments in safety over the past few years. We are looking at a complete automotive revolution in safety, saving thousands of lives. Television shows, the delivery as we know it today as local channels, being completely replaced. Internet services provided as a utility to everyone and telephone land lines except where required for security or convenience, a novelty of the past. My family was one of the first in our extended family to go without a land line (I dare say some still have them) years ago and have not missed it at all. Finally, virtually every physician we use has electronic records available for review so we can see our results and keep our own records. Hopefully the day will come where the medical records can be shared across the board so my doctor with one hospital can share findings with my doctor with another hospital.

The food industry has changed so much my father who spent more than 40 years with A&P food stores in New York, would be amazed. Ordering for pickup or delivery, shopping on our smartphones, and prepackaged cooked or prepared meals delivered to your door. The separation between desktop, laptop, tablets, iPhones, watches morphing into a more fluid line of computers. Even the clothes we wear; breathable, special sizes, more comfortable than ever. Old institutions of brick and mortar like the once mega-giant Sears now bowing under intense pressure from on-line mega-stars like Amazon. Sears flinched in the big retail war and is losing as Wal-Mart tries to imitate Amazon and stay competitive.

Countries that not too long ago were just images in a geography book (yea, go try to find a ‘geography book’) are now connected to the world’s web and cellular network as they grapple with their third world status and try to grow into democratic nations. We may find ourselves someday on an even plane with a country that today, we can hardly pronounce the name of no less find them on the map. The global warming effect will eventually force island nations and those areas of low-lying land to rethink their strategy about saving their coastline. All those naysayers who were smug in their belief that the world was not warming and changing are then faced with trying to explain to their great-grandchildren why they stood idly by and watched it all happen. Wars that are fought today will be a distant memory as nations gradually adapt and soon become tourist meccas. Just look at Germany, Italy, Japan, and Vietnam. In one lifetime they’ve moved from enemy to ally; tourist meccas, exporter of goods we import and need.

Future goods and services are nearly ready to deploy in health and food, transportation, new technology to make our already papered lives even more comfortable. I just wonder what we have to lose to gain some of these benefits. It’s like the loss of personal privacy to gain enhanced security through the use of cameras on every corner, in every house. I have no qualms about the loss of personal privacy but I’m not sure that is all we are losing.

So what’s the point of beating this dead horse of a topic. I guess it’s not so much of a dead horse as an ignored one. I don’t want to wake up and discover I’ve overlooked or missed a potential action I could have taken that would have made the world a better place because I was chasing something new at the price of something old yet irreplaceable. I want to help stop global warming, I want to be on the team that provides healthcare for everyone, (what’s the argument against this fundamental religious belief?) I’d like to think I was capable of providing meals to those who have none. I want to be the better person and perhaps most importantly, not throw my actions into the face of those who do not want to help as I do simply because they’ve not been able to see the light.

So many small things: recycle, walk a few more steps, donate time/money/food/clothes, and most importantly, quit looking down your nose at others less fortunate.  Instead, use your blessings to help others and our planet.

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About bauernfeind

NYC Born 27 years USAF retired Major 21 years teaching/17 in a high school now retired
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