Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I have a favorite author who turned very negative when she became elderly. I've known people in Real Life who got that way, too, and I've seen tons of negative, older people online. Boy, grumpy people are everywhere online--and they're not all old, either. Some are practically babies.

Well. Even before I turned 50 last week, I long ago vowed that I'd never become a nasty, sour, "things-aren't-the-way-they-used-to-be-so-that-means-they're-bad" little old lady.

Heaven help me if I put a permanent kink in my aging neck because I'm constantly staring backward. I mean, I'm already tired of hearing how email will never be as meaningful as hand-written letters, how you can't tie them up with a ribbon for others to someday discover in dusty attics (uh, ever heard of a printer?). The main thing is--face it!-- letter-writing had become an almost Dead Art. Yet now? We're all writing to each other again. We're communicating, sharing our beliefs, our days and making changes through our words-- just through a different means. An electronic one.

The problem I've seen? Older folks (and those 'older inside their heads') believe different is bad and change is negative. They believe if it's not their preferred way, then it's the wrong way.

Oh, may I never live inside such tiny boxes!

The Internet is here to stay, Folks, and it's making a difference in our world--not just our online world, either--but in this Real World. There is a crossover going on--I see it in headlines of newspapers and through reports on the Evening World News. And shouldn't we rejoice? Shouldn't we be happy that quiet homebodies, whose wisdom was once ignored, have been given a Voice in this world, one independent of literary editors who dislike what they're saying or how they say it? That people everywhere can now share their beliefs and opinions with many others--and make some wonderful friends along the great online way, as well?

We know Emily Dickinson through poems she wrote then placed inside drawers and through her letters, and written accounts from her friends. We know Louisa May Alcott and Laura Ingalls Wilder by way of the wonderful books they penned and published. They and thousands of other authors spoke to us, shared themselves with us through the written word. So shouldn't we be rejoicing that people everywhere today are writing now, also? That in one brief lifetime we can come to know more people than ever was humanly possible in the history before us?

I see that as a Good Thing. And as I continue to age, may I never view it as anything else. And as changes of all sorts come, may I view them with an open mind, first, before quickly making a judgement. May I be quick to listen to other points of view, slow to speak and always willing to change my mind about a few things.

6 comments:

Tracy said...

Amen! Another wonderful post, Debra, that is oh so true. :)

Nancy said...

I think it is a "human condition" to be nostalgic about one's past, and "remember it" as better than it actually was. That may be part of the reason people negatively compare the present to the past.
Many idolize how "romantic" and "wonderfully simplistic" life was at the turn of the century, and early decades of the twentieth century. In truth, it was extremely difficult for the majority of people and they suffered many hardships.
Change is sometimes difficult for people of any age, but if they are adaptable, they will find that some change is wonderful.

Elizabeth said...

As usual I completely agree with you Debra.There is no way to meet all the wonderful people that I have if not for internet,change is good if its improvement and I think this is.Elizabeth

Utah Grammie said...

I agree with you -I think getting older is NOT an excuse for being negative. Add while I do love receiving a hand-written note or card - I am hearing MUCH more from friends and family now that if they took the time (stamps, finding my address etc) to "write" to me. I have been in instant communication via the internet with people from all over the world that i would NEVER have met as I don't yet travel - so I am ever thankful for the progress - and remember, these are the days that our grandchildren will think of as "the good old days"!

Gary said...

Your comment about writers growing negative as they age rang true with me. I had to give up on reading one author for exactly that reason: she seemed to be doing nothing but complain. About everything.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

I love this warm color.