As many long-term readers of this column know, I don’t often write in the middle of the night, and most columns are not written the same day I publish them. Also, I’ve often shared my ‘basket’ process; I write bits and pieces when the spirit moves ~ and toss them in the basket for use, or not, in the coming days. Lately the basket has been overflowing with some partially baked and stewing thoughts – not developed into full-blown columns, which deserve to be shared and published – so here goes:
What is the next new thing, and who sees it?
Viktor Frankl wrote brilliantly how holocaust survivors coped, moved on, and got past their horrors to lead productive post-war lives. His seminal work, Man’s Search For Meaning, is worth re-reading by everyone. S many lessons there to be learned.
I’m thinking about what happens today and tomorrow; we’re all thinking about what will be, but we are still ‘in this,’ we can’t see it looking backward because it doesn’t have an end yet. Most would argue we aren’t sure, however, where the middle will be …
True of anything ‘in progress,’ but most projects, tasks, battles, and wars have some structure of beginning, middle, and end – if you see them in retrospect. Most beginnings are missed because the start is small, obscure, and not on display for everyone to watch. Once going, who can tell which is the middle, or nearing the end, or the end – until it is over?
Most people don’t have any better clue, but most also feel they have a sense of where something is going, how it will play out, no evidence or confidence when it might end – not confidence or belief ‘I can see it from here.’ But, like most things, we really don’t know.
We find out, at the end of the day watching the NEWS, what kind of day the world had.
Local NEWS tells us how our city did today, our province, for our country. And a prediction of tomorrow’s weather.
I check news and COVID-19 statistics daily. If anyone thinks the end is near, or in view, they are delusional, Trump-fixated, or Trump.
Some days are etched in a few memories.
Most days, ones that matter to anyone, don’t matter to others, and they never feel the etching. Most significant places in history or in our memory are not usually single day events – they took longer, and they last longer.
They have beginning or end dates; or names that place them in history, like The 100 Years War, the war of 1812, or the World Wars. And epochs, eras, or centuries of trouble – the Dark Ages, The Renaissance, The Reformation, the Great Depression.
The Spanish flu pandemic (1918-20) caused 50 million deaths worldwide; the population then was 1.8 billion, doing its worst on infants and children.
WW I was called The Great War – only renamed once the Second World War began in 1939, but usage or WWI didn’t come along in wider usage until 1941. Nothing about any war is Great.
We are at a pivotal time in history, and for each of us – except children we shield from this reality so they will escape its invasion and alteration of their brains. Yet, the world we’ve prepared them to enjoy has changed. We cannot know what is next, so how can we teach them to deal with it?
For some small percentage of people, COVID-19 will enter their lungs and kill them. Most of us will either avoid infection altogether, or experience being only mildly ill, recover and go back to living our lives; whether this virus will have lasting damaging effects on our bodies is an unknown. Probably not. Yet COVID-19 has infected something else, our consciousness, and we’ll not recover so quickly from that.
We didn’t talk often, I didn’t know he was sick. We were well acquainted, but not close. I called Ken recently, to ask for assistance on something and pass along a great idea; an unfamiliar voice answered – his new assistant. She couldn’t assure me when I’d hear back. Her boss was away from the office – “He’s been having some health problems.” I didn’t know if he was off with the flu, in a cast, in hospital, or in hospice. Concerned? Of course. I wasn’t expecting the news that came a few days later. Sad. My interview of him: seven years ago; and his recent obituary: Ken King. Our friend, a proud and successful Calgarian business leader, was dead.
Hi Mark. Sorry about the loss of your friend. I enjoy your words. Are they available for publication from time to time in my small weekly newspaper The Oyen Echo? I usually have 8 pages and a circulation of just under 900, DW, Oyen, AB