There are days when the promise of technology is a noisy gong or clanging cymbal, and you just long for the ‘days of simplicity.’ Things weren’t fancy, and often could be a little uncomfortable, but the pace was slower, the needs usually less, and the reality of interdependence with your neighbors was great.
Today was one of those days where more time was wasted than things accomplished, all because the promise of technology fell through. Devices refusing to be on speaking terms because one thing got updated and the rest couldn’t hang, aging devices on the verge of obsolescence and silicone senility, and non-existent or callously cavalier support that doesn’t really try to solve your issues.
A former colleague had as his email sig file, “Computers were designed to help more people waste more time, faster.” Amen.
I spent yesterday afternoon and evening helping friends build cattle pens, then run the calves through the chute to give them medicines for worms and pink eye. It was a long hard day, but there was a sense of ‘mission accomplished’ with the ability to look at what our hands had done. Yeah, we made heavy use of tractors, trucks, ATV’s, generators, power tools, arc welding, but we also used hammer, nails, post-hole diggers, horses, rope and other manual tools. The cell phones were usually an interruption. It was nice.
It was also in the 50’s and 60’s instead of the 90’s and 100’s. It was sunny, not rainy. It is funny—no matter how pointless or significant our work may seem, how old-fashioned or cutting-edge, the Curse is found there too. What makes us keep going? Why do we keep striving against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune?
I can only conclude that either 1) we don’t know what else to do, or 2) we have a vision, a goal, that drives and compels us to push over, past or through the obstacles of this life.
How can we help our students find their vision and draw strength and dignity from it? How can we inspire them through our example? How can we point to the Creator and Sustainer of all things, through whom we have the power and command to overcome?