In today’s NY Times, Steven Petrow laments the further reduction of our humanity with credit card companies’ elimination of an actual signature. It’s a great article. I am right there with the author as he clutches the multi-sensory experience of reading his Grandma’s letters.
I worry about how much we are mindlessly, willingly sacrifice to the pace and allure of our technological culture. I envision a herd of stampeding buffalo running off the cliff in mass. And then Ben Franklin’s quote comes to mind: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Substitute “individual humanity” for Liberty, and “convenience” for safety.
This past week, I attended two meetings where education was a key focus. Since the public educational system in America was hijacked by the Common Core Standards in the 1990’s, teachers are hamstrung, teaching primarily for compulsory testing. As a result, much has been lost. Kids are not taught civics, geography, cursive writing…They have difficulty thinking critically and can’t do research beyond Goggle. Many high school graduates need at least two years of remedial training before they can begin their college courses! The system is failing tomorrow’s citizens.
How about some balance? Technology is cleverly crafted to hook you. One must assert great discipline to reclaim one’s attention. How about starting with retaining your signature? Is it really such a burden to sign your name? Hang on to that scrap of your individuality. Find ways to write, or print your lists, thoughts, outlines. Write a postcard. Send a thank you note. Step out of the herd and away from the cliff. Give your friends and family something to remember you by, your signature.