Yesterday was the first day of 2009. My husband and I were talking about what we thought the year 2000 and beyond would look like when we were kids. I really felt sure we would have some amazing 'Jetson-like' technology. My husband did not feel that we would have that kind of advanced technology, but admitted to wondering what the 21st century would look like. Now here we are almost a whole decade into this millennia and we still wonder what it will look like.
For example, I felt certain in my youth that the more advanced we became in knowledge and technology, the more peaceful our world would be. Boy was I wrong! We have the U.S. involved in a war on two fronts, and the whole thing with Israel and Palestine, not to mention the unrest in Africa and South America. In fact, I think the only continent that does not have military conflict or is involved in military conflict is Antarctica. I would move there but I hate the cold, that I am a quite comfortable being in Oklahoma - good, bad or ugly. The really sad fact is that we have all the technology in the world to carry out research about our environment or climate, we can communicate and connect to one another in more ways that ever imagined in the 1970s, and we have information at our finger-tips like never before, but we still haven't figured out how to get along.
I was somewhat right about the technology. I remember watching the early versions of Star Trek (yes, I am a closet Trekkie, although I have been told that the appropriate term is Trekker), and was fascinated by their ability to read on things held in their hands, the amazing mount of information on the little hand-held computers, and the ability to communicate hands free. What do you know, we have all those avenues available, they just look a little different than when Spock and Kirk modeled them.
We have smartphones and PDAs:
We have these great little bluetooth headsets that enable us to talk as we walk around and go about our routine business: And we even have cell phones that flip open like Star Trek communicators.
But, do we have the really important stuff?
And if we do, do we appreciate it?
My suggestions? Glad you asked! Turn off an electronic device and have a conversation with your family. Take a drive with your spouse - just to see the scenery, not to rush to a destination. Play a board game with your children - you know, the old fashioned kind without a computer chip. Color in a coloring book, or paint a picture. Try to live without electronics, just long enough to remind yourself that you are a human.