It used to be where most of us lived and always felt like it was a safe place – from tiny places to medium-sized cities. We had peace and peacefulness. Crime rate was low, poverty was either absent or hidden, streets were clean, and so was the air. Neighbours knew each other’s names, watched out for all the kids playing in the street and we went to bed early because there was only a radio and one channel of fuzzy snow on the TV.
Times, apparently, have changed.
News headlines shock us, not weeks after an event but in real time. Actions everywhere are in our backyard too vicariously via social media – we can’t escape the flood-like water from a hydrant that brings every horrible idea to everyone’s device in their pocket. Access to information, good news and good ideas are fast and complete in unprecedented fashion – volume, velocity and veracity.
Few people see the speed of information, commerce and entertainment as a bad thing – it is synonymous with freedom, and the goal of society is to make each of us better by making all of us better.
But better at what?
Being informed …
Being educated, aware, and concerned about our planet, our society, our fellow humans, our environment, our planet’s place in the universe, and our place and purpose within it, but recent events (pick any news day) prove we are collectively addicted to FOMO – we have to know what is happening everywhere all the time, facts/context/accuracy seem to far less critical when you attach immediacy, controversy, celebrity or a #hashtag is attached.
Gone are the peaceful, tranquil days of small-town life as country folk knew it; gone are civic pride and civility winning over political back-biting and graft. OK, correction, graft has been with us always, and it has changed too because the sleazy have gone high-tech and employed clever publicists.
City life is where most people in my country and most developed countries live; rural and small-town life is waning everywhere. As we’ve come off a pandemic sea-change at great speed, we now understand that most people can do most things from most anywhere. Companies and managers mostly disagree, and to be fair to both views – the pendulum is still swinging and nobody knows where the norms, and trends of our future for lifestyle and workstyle will send us or shape us.
Mark, thank you for investing some time to capture what Terry and I experienced at the Grey Eagle Event centre last week. Gordon Lightfoot has captured the essence of the geography of Canada and the spirit of his generations in his songs. We sat aghast at the beginning of his sold out show, silently urged him on as he regained his form and spirit we have seen in the past and thanked, again silently, his number one guitar player for supporting Gordon's memory of the words of some of the songs. We hoped that there would be only one encore and as he left the stage wished him Godspeed and success with his concert the next evening in Edmonton. We reviewed his schedule of performances in the next month in Canada and the US which can only be described as grinding and wondered who would advise him to undertake such a task given his frail condition. Great column and keep them coming, PW, Calgary, AB