Friday, October 8, 2021

Book 'em.

What follows might get me rebuke. It might be regarded as retrograde or elitist or even nostalgic. 

Down the street from my apartment sits the all-girls private school my daughters went to. It's a storied place where good manners, for the most part, prevail. Where girls are taught to lead, to speak, to be themselves. I fell in love with the place the moment I set foot inside its doors 25 years ago. And I love it today.

I loved that the girls hung out in the library--a library with thousands of books, including old stuff, like the Iliad and the Odyssey. I love that each class put on plays by Shakespeare. And musicals by Gilbert and Sullivan. I love that their education was not based on what's au courant, but on values that will outlive today's modern undulations.

As I walked through the park this morning, the park that the school abuts, a lot of the girls were in the park, having class outside to enjoy a nice autumn day, or sitting among the pigeons and watching the giant barges make weigh on the river below.

I noticed something I wish I saw more of.

I believe the world would be better if we saw more of.

Every single girl was carrying a book. 

Many were reading and walking as they read. Some were saving seats with their books. It seems some of the young ladies carried books that weighed more than they did.

This past week, you'd have to have been under a rock to have not heard about the destruction of society brought on by so-called social media.

I'm not going to go into that here.

What I will go into is this.

We brought it onto ourselves when we allowed ourselves to be seduced by easy.

Easy news. 

Easy entertainment.

Easy information.

Easy opinions.

Easy acceptance of the way things are.

Easy theft of our privacy.

Social media is easy. Following a trend and saying you want to be part of popular culture is easy. Showing gyrating young people as a means to sell a $90,000 car is easy.

None of that requires thinking.

Going with the quo is easier than challenging the status quo.

I say, even if all others, not I.

I, for one, am sick of easy.

I'm sick of the ease of spurious awards outweighing the weight of real accomplishment. I'm sick of glib and pre-packaged solutions to long-term and often intractable problems.

I am very lucky. 

My business has grown to a point where I might be bringing in more revenue than the holding company that fired me. Because I don't offer glib solutions or tired platitudes.

As my doppleganger, Donna Summer sang so many years ago:

She works hard for the money

So hard for it, honey
She works hard for the money
So you better treat her right

She works hard for the money
So hard for it, honey
She works hard for the money
So you better treat her right

That's it for me for this week.

Go pick up a book.

And find a hard solution. Something to work at. 

It'll feel good.

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