By Rev. Jim Innes
I was reminded of generational perspectives after hearing my 26-month-old granddaughter speak one of her first complete sentences, “Hey Google, play Wiggles.”
Her innate skills, and the attitudes she has integrated, have been refined by a world that I must work hard to keep up with.
I don’t know if it is my age, but it occasionally feels like I'm controlled by those nameless folks we often reference and name as `They,' as in `they' did it or `they' said it.
The other day I wanted a small side of ribs with my chicken, and the waitress told me she couldn’t do that because there was no such button on the computerized cash register.
“Really,” I said, “can the manager help us?” She kindly went and asked. She returned to inform me,” the manager couldn’t find a button either. `They' didn't put one on." (I can only conclude that `They’ never thought it through).
The world has changed rapidly, and though I appreciate progress, I sometimes wonder about its scrupulousness. Something is not quite right when I can’t stay up to date with my iPhone--despite it costing an outrageous $800, only two years ago! And that was before the ridiculous cost of a protective case lest I drop it, a protective lens lest I scratch it, and an insurance premium lest whatever!!
With rapid progress comes sophisticated corruption, and the clumsy (yet appreciated) means by which this fraudulence is countered. One example is `safe’ access when online banking and using `apps’ (another term of the new era). I remember asking the bank (over the phone) to limit the number of questions presented to ensure it was me. I couldn’t remember how I had answered them at set-up! And I am continually frustrated remembering all my app passwords. Infuriatingly, each password needs at least eight characters that contain at least one number, one capital, and one of whatever you call them ‘other’ typescripts. (I wish `They’ would come up with better safety measures because I now walk (idiotically) about with passwords in my briefcase).
We have created a world where out-there-somewhere are very influential, unidentified folk we call `They.’ There are at least three significant `They’ groups; they that truly know, they that are apparently trying to fool us, and they that know nothing at all! And these folks seem to enter every important conversation as they who said this, or they who said that, or they who just follow trends. It seems that division is flourishing, albeit frequently quiet and unsaid (but not always) behind the polite masks we wear to honour each other’s `they’ folk.
As I see it, we live in a time when our patience is tested to the point of humble resignation. And though this can feel like defeatism, it is not necessarily a `bad’ thing, and there is a real need to integrate a world that moves faster than we can sometimes think. At least that’s what `They’ say whom I listen to.
Rev. Jim Innes is the rector of the Regional Ministry of South Huron.