This is what birthday feasts look like at our house. (At least when I’m choosing!)
It’s been a bit of a day, part of which involved my not remembering to put time zones in a link for a Zoom meeting.
That reminded me of something which always amazes me. My friend, Steve Glenn, helped me understand differences in the “old” days and the more recent ones.
The total volume of world knowledge, as Steve explained it, used to double once every 500 years or so. By the time my Dave was about 10, the best estimate was that we’d reached the point where the total volume of world knowledge was doubling every 5 years or so. Some current estimates suggest that world knowledge may, at least in some fields, be doubling about every 6 weeks!
Wrap your head around that!
During President Obama’s second election, I remember him saying that, of the children born that day, half of them would have first jobs that hadn’t even been invented yet!
And if you, by chance, have grandchildren, I’ll bet you’re not at all surprised at this. Just look at what they know that we didn’t. Or, in some cases, don’t yet!
So what do we do with all the changing and learning?
Well, the first thing seems to me to be realizing that learning used to be about memorizing stuff. Geometry proofs. The classification system for plants and animals. (And, if you’d met my bio teacher, you’d have learned to spell all those Latin words, too!)
These days, though, learning means knowing how to find what you need.
Or, as Steve once put it, to be learners at least as much as learned.
Those statements are not either/or options. They’re just a pretty significant shift in emphasis.
Which leads us to allow ourselves to experiment with the notion that different isn’t always bad. A little scary, maybe. But not bad.
And, once you’ve practiced a bit, experiment with newness in public! Like, you know, where kids can see you. They may be too busy with their own worlds to make a big deal about it but it will still shift reality just a bit.
Then, if an occasion presents itself, look for opportunities to practice with kids! Chances are, you’ll all learn new things. New is often good. And, if you’re doing it too, it feels safer for everybody!
For now, I’m off to one of my very favorite things. Time to chat with my kids!
Then, I’m going to do another new thing. I’m going to enter my second Legend painting, aka Chosen, Safe, and Loved, in an online museum show being organized around the upcoming 65th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, taking place in a largely virtual fashion in March. Here’s your sneak preview! I’ll keep you posted on the show.
ps… She is, as most Legend paintings are, a bit of a self portrait. But Luther’s right there to make this kind of newness feel safe!