Saturday, March 16, 2024

Our Next Chapter

As my brothers, sisters and I were growing up, Mom would take us to the local branch library.  It became a Safe and Familiar place to discover different authors, writing styles, and storytelling.  Even when going on weeks-long road trips to visit our grandparents in Iowa, one of the pre-trip planning stops was the library to get a box of books to accompany us.  Maybe it was to keep us busy, but the lesson I learned was the joy of reading and the power of imagination.  (Years later I would work at that branch library as my first real job!)

These memories come to mind as I consider what is happening in our society today:  "the best of times" and the worst of times."

How would you describe "your time" right now?
(Photo credit:  Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens)

The Information Age has inundated us with countless sources and varieties of information.  We are now "entertained" with subtle and not-so-subtle messages in the programs and news sources we watch, the bombardment of advertisements, and the role social media plays in our daily lives.

It is unnerving when I pay attention to the attempts to manipulate my thoughts and feelings, swaying me one direction or another.  The information when presented one way stacks up against another... in simple soundbites that are meant to convince me of their truth.

Where are you getting your information?
(Photo credit:  Library Book Stacks Fabric, Spoonflower)

As unfiltered and unreflected ideas stack up in my subconscious, I notice an uneasiness at the separation I feel:  I no longer feel the safety and familiarity of my home library; I no longer feel Common Unity (community) with those around me.

The story telling and imagination have faded away as others influence what I should think or feel.

Is it the same with you?

Are you willing to rearrange your thought process?
(Photo credit:  Google download, Michigan Library)

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), a female English novelist, poet, journalist, and translator, once wrote:  "The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice."

What choices do you (we) need to make as we write the next chapters of our Life Story?  How can we reconnect with our sense of safety and familiarity in the communities we live?  Are we willing to share our stories and imagination with one another in a way that respects all of our Unfinished Stories?

The choice is ours -- in how we gather information, the way we check out our assumptions, and the decisions we make.

Larry Gardepie

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1 comment:

  1. Truth! And, how can I show up in a way that invites others to ‘commune’ again. It’s imperative to model the way of civil discourse.