The explosive growth of social media is a phenomenon of our times. The impact is far-reaching and an interesting look at our society. Thee Nextdoor platform is one example of neighbors arguing about local politics, masking, chip seal techniques on our streets. I fear some post comments to get under another’s skin; they may not even believe what they have posted—plain mean people.
Social media has also “outted” those “Karens” and “Chads” of the world who appoint themselves to correct the perceived wrongdoings of others. I’m afraid we are becoming less civil every day.
These platforms can be excellent tools for local clubs, civic organizations, schools and communities to promote the common good. Nonprofits can benefit as well by sharing their mission, seeking volunteers and support. Newcomers to a community benefit from getting recommendations from others about a variety of services and providers. I suggest these are all examples of civility.
Human nature, being what it is, makes it difficult not to comment on posts that are contrary to one’s own beliefs. By taking a few minutes and thinking if comments are warranted, then taking the time to structure carefully worded comments, good communication and civility can prevail.
Oaky, I was wrong in my post earlier this week. I could use the excuse that autocorrect was responsible for the mistake, but I’d be flat-out lying. I should know that it is the U.S. Capitol; some capital-funded it. I was able to correct my error, but only after the few people that follow my ramblings had read it. Now their suspicions are confirmed. I too often hit send or publish before proofing.
So, with “egg on my face,” totally embarrassed, I hope I have learned a lesson. Meanwhile, a new investigation into the Jan. 6th attack is starting, and I’ll probably have an opinion or two. If only I remember to proof the post.
Today is my 47th Fathers Day, and I’m so very fortunate. Now retired, living in a safe and secure community. Yes, I am privileged. I live close to my three children and nine grandchildren, and I proudly watch as they meet the challenges of raising a family in today’s society.
I grew up during the proverbial “Happy Days” when for the most part, Dad worked, and Mom stayed home to manage the family. While my children have not followed that exact model, I am most proud of how they are there for each other. Yes, they can, and do, disagree at times, but when push comes to shove, they have each other’s back. I watch as my grandchildren, ages 5 through 18, develop and grow as individuals. Each has a very different personality, strengths, weaknesses, and dreams for the future.
As I said, I am among the privileged. I can’t help but think of the Fathers estranged or separated for their children—the Fathers who have lost a child and the Fathers struggling as single parents. Fatherhood is in itself a privilege and an honor. I am proud to honor my Dad on this Father’s Day, and while he is no longer with us, he served his family, country, and his maker the best he could.
So today, let us lift all men who are blessed to become a father, a most sacred calling.
After reading how others are anxiously trying to get their first vaccine dose, I write this with some trepidation. I got my second vaccine shot on February 1. How did I do that? The credit goes to the people of Erickson Living and their corporate response to the pandemic.
Erickson Living is a national company with 20 retirement communities across the country with 15,000 employees serving more than 27,000 residents. When the pandemic hit, protocols to protect employees and residents initiated. For most of 2020, employees delivered meals and necessities to residents. Masking and social distancing were part of everyone’s day.
In December, we moved into one of those communities, Tallgrass Creek in Overland Park, Kansas. Residents and employees have been living with stringent guidelines for nearly a year now.
Erickson and CVS teamed up to plan inoculations once the vaccine was available. We received our first shot on January 11. It was an all hands on deck socially-distanced process with a fifteen-minute waiting period once the vaccine was in the arm, then we were given cards indicating our booster shot would be on February 1. Yet, I remained anxious as news reports on problems getting the vaccine into the arms of people dominated the headlines.
We have heard of people having a day or two of discomfort following their second shot, but so far, we have only noticed some soreness in the arm. Staff from Tallgrass Creek and CVS continue to innoculate residents and employees methodically. After each shot, you hear cheers and noisemakers to celebrate.
Perhaps lessons learned by Erickson Living would make a good case study for the next pandemic.
As we close out this year, let’s remember the 341,000 Americans that died this year due to Covid-19. To the family’s friends and co-workers who did not get a chance to say goodbye. Goodbye to the divisive atmosphere we have endured. Goodbye to the false information, some have taken as fact.
Hello to the opportunity for all of us to turn the page and start anew. Caring for each other, especially those who are lonely, hungry, cold, and suffering. Love thy neighbor. Because the calendar year changes tomorrow, many of our challenges will still be there. How we handle them could make a huge difference. It’s up to you and me.
Many make New Year Resolutions. Health clubs love this time of year, but how long does it last? We have new leadership waiting to address the problems of 2020. I, for one, am hopeful they will live up to their campaign promises and focus on rebuilding the American culture and image to what we have known in the past.
“The beginning is the most important part of the work.” –Plato
In about 100 days, our country will have a general election. Between now and then, we will be force-fed political ads, news conferences, and generally contentious spin. Our mailboxes will be full of candidate flyers. I am already tired of it, and it’s just begun.
Thinking about these next 100 days, I wonder how we will treat each other when it is over? I genuinely believe we are all weary of the pandemic, the protests, and finger-pointing. Should the election turn out to be the opposite of the way I would like it, can I accept and support the majority? (Or Electoral College)
What can we do individually to prepare for whatever the outcome is? How will we act?
Ya think I would have learned by now that my three grown children don’t need me to remind them to unhook their hoses in the winter or change their furnace filters. But my natural instincts as a father scream for me to “mentor” their adulthood. Just trying to save them from some things I learned the hard way.
I must have too much time on my hands if I worry if #2 son has cleaned the lint filter on his dryer. Has the eldest changed the oil in his car? What about daddy’s little girl? Has she started saving for retirement?
I’m not talking about the times they will call and ask questions. On occasion, one will call and ask for my thoughts on this or that. Usually, it’s about raising children. Which is my cue to immediately pass it on to my wife, who has a better way of explaining parenting?
In addition to thinking up things they should be doing, my job is to be the curmudgeon, the dad joke guy, the cook at family gatherings. Slowly, I’m learning they don’t entirely agree with my assessment of who is running their life these days.
What do you call someone without a body and no nose? Nobody knows.”
Okay, I get it; they are adults and have families of their own. So, maybe I should only offer suggestions on their careers. Then I remember when I tried to do part-time work for my daughter’s business. Take it from me, it’s not a great idea to suggest changes in the way she manages her already successful enterprise.
Furthermore, do they even know we are living in a pandemic? Are they wearing masks and social distancing? I wonder if I should just send them a text reminding them to have a great day and take a clean face mask with you when you leave the house.
Well, perhaps I should just leave a voice message, “Hi, it’s summer and time to clean out the fan coils on the air conditioner. Love, Dad.”