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Honour the Child

Blog Archive

BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Monday, 30 January 2012
Not because of privacy issues, or spam or changing understanding of community and individuals....

But because sometimes I want to not know the answer.
Or, more than this, I want to ask someone else to tell me.

I know I always *can* ask someone, but with the Internet at our fingertips day and night,
we don't *have* to ask any more.

We don't have to ask for directions and happen upon that neat little family owned business in a small town.
We don't have to ask around for the family favoured chocolate chip cookie recipe~ we can choose from 100 different ones online.

I was wondering the other day, after watching The Muppets, why Milton Berle was called 'Uncle Milty'.
And I want to ask someone who knows.
Someone who remembers , maybe, hearing him on the radio, who remembers Vaudeville and the first tv shows.
Who has memories of watching Berle on the black and white set with friends or family.
Someone for whom those memories bring a smile to their face as they tell me the answer.
Or even say, "I don't know! I always liked George Burns better".

And sometimes, I want to be wrong.
For like, ever.
Take misheard lyrics as an example.
Now if we don't understand them, we can just look them up.
Gone is the fun of singing along, wrongly..
"Every time you go away, you take a piece of meat with you..." for decades.
I mean, I just found out this year that in 'We wish you a Merry Christmas', the line is NOT "Good tidings we bring, to you and your KING" (OK, it never made sense, but hey, I figured it was old and people were all about honouring the King!) but "you and your kin".
I always just sang along... until I looked up the history of the hymn for a service.

Don't get me wrong, I love that I can figure out how to clean anything, cook anything, find anything, buy anything... but somehow, it still holds more value to get that cleaning secret from a neighbour, the recipe from my mom... and so on.
It just does.
And I think if we lose that, we lose something incredibly valuable to us as human beings.
Shared knowledge and experience.

I work with a lot of seniors.
Folks who still do it 'the old fashioned' way.
And they feel sidelined by all of the rapidly changing technology around us.
But they shouldn't... they are the storykeepers and if we are smart, the story tellers.
After all, as Santayana said "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it".

The Internet is an amazing tool.
But it is a tool.
It is not a person, or a relationship or a memory.

And so I need to go and ask an older friend to tell me more about Uncle Milty.
And find a reason to make Great-Great Aunt Bea's Ambrosia Salad that she made for Great Uncle David's January birthday every year.


kelly said...

Just saw this whilst catching up in my feeder and I had to click over and comment.

I totally agree with this. I always loved the song "Gloria" and thought the words were "I think they've got Elliot" and I spent ages wondering who Elliot was and how he fitted into the story, but it turns out that the words are "I think they've got your alias"

No where near as interesting!

Wendi said...

Profound blog post/observation. Some schools have projects in which students must ask elderly family members about memories and then share them in class. I am glad they do so. Human interactions are becoming endangered as technology develops. Texting is not quality human interaction.

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