“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful, and optimistic and we can change the world.”
— Jack Layton-Canadian politician- House of Commons (1950-2011)
So much has changed in the last year and a half. Some changes no longer seem strange but now are the regular way of doing life. I’m surprised how necessary the internet is. Some situations make life more difficult without good internet service while making other situations a breeze with adequate internet service. My own personal internet service rates somewhere in between.
Most of my healthcare providers require information to be transmitted via the internet. I spent hours setting up my “portals” to message providers. Portal is defined as “a gate, a doorway, or other entrance, especially a large and imposing one.” At times the portal is quite imposing as the screen blinks and disappears. Is the information floating around in space, is it all gone; would I have to start all over again? Once only a few websites required a password; I didn’t bother to record passwords, certain I’d remember them. Now I have an entire directory of usernames and passwords. One provider sent notice I would no longer receive print updates via the U.S. mail service. It said, “These online documents are kinder to the environment-saving both trees and landfill space. And they’re more portable, too. You can access them anytime, anywhere, from your personal computer, tablet or other device.”
What about those who don’t have or want devices? Or internet? What about tree farmers? What will happen to their livelihoods? In all this change some things are the same.
The “Magnolia Journal” arrives in my old-fashioned mailbox. It’s a paper version made possible by tree farmers. International Paper says “Our entire business depends upon the sustainability of forests. We will continue to lead the world in responsible forest stewardship to ensure healthy and productive forest ecosystems for generations to come.”
Technology is certainly necessary but I will always love print newspapers, magazines, letters, greeting cards and Christmas cards; a package in the mailbox. Not too long ago we were an overwhelmed nation in panic at the lack of paper towels, toilet paper, and diapers. There is a place for paper.
Joanna Gaines’ “Magnolia Journal” lifts my spirit. “Together we can live kindness loud,” she wrote. Kindness can never be replaced by anything except outrageous kindness. “We sometimes need a nudge toward making the move, giving the compliment, asking the question that shows we care.” Technology can be a tool for kindness.
Via technology I learned of Libby Park DeLana, author of “Do/Walk Navigate earth, mind and body, step by step. Libby started walking ten years ago and has now completed the equivalent of the circumference of the earth-25,000 miles. Just walking, a little every day. She says she has never regretted a walk.
To Libby I messaged, “You’re inspiring.” She answered, “Oh Gosh. Thank you!”
At Belk there was a lovely lady. I leaned toward her and said, “I covet your style.” A bit startled, she smiled, “Oh goodness, you have made my day.” With or without technology we can live kindness loud.
Shannon Bardwell is a writer living quietly in the Prairie. Email reaches her at [email protected]