With The Passing of Time
(Written when I retired in January 2012)
He wondered about modern communications. Were the children of the 1970’s not better speakers and listeners because face to face communication was alive and practised? ‘Facebook’, ‘Twitter’, texting and the new ICT tools of the twenty-first century reduced the need to gain and have confidence in speech and speaking (including listening). He was concerned that literacy skills were going out the door. What would happen to reflection and thinking!
He wondered about the wisdom of straying too far from the scriptural adage,”spare the rod and spoil the child”. While responses to poor behaviour ought not to be barbaric, was not accomodation in 2012 on what was totally unacceptable in 1970, simply encouraging children and young people to push the envelope? Were not the elders abrogating their upbringing responsibilities and being ostrich like?
He was sad that keys, security, guard dogs, dead latcheus, CCTV cameras, high fences, barbed wire, crimsafe mesh, sensor security systems and floodlights had become the order of installation. It seemed that in 1970, nights were for sleeping. Forty years later, nocturnal malevolence seemed to prevail. He wondered where ‘Where Willie Winkie’ had gone.
He wondered about gender equality. In the 1970’s children deferred to adults on public transport, when going through doors and joining queues. Similarly, men deferred to ladies, the young to the old. No more!
He wondered why it was that in 2012, chivalry was dead!
He was concerned about ‘pace’. In the 1970’s things moved more slowly. There seemed to be less to do, yet key tasks were completed. There was a simple serenity about the way things were done. Time off work WAS time off work.
He pondered tranquility. Inner peace had been enhanced by the separation of priorities. Family, work and recreation had occupied degrees of importance in that order. Come 2012, it seemed that the imperative of ‘work, work and work until you drop’ had pushed family and recreational pursuits onto the back-burner. Was that not poor prioritisation?
Did the ‘new way’ promote happiness and inner peace?
He wondered about the future. As a young educator in 1970 he had looked to the future with confidence and rosy anticipation. Come 2012 and looking back he wondered why system realities had sullied his vision.
And revisiting this piece of writing ten years after its was developed, he still wonders.