Sunday, January 1, 2012

Perspective, 1-1-12


I have just read Barbara's comment on the previous post and also just come back from a walk on the beach with my daughter. At this very moment the evening sky beyond my window is blue;pink/mauve -- incredibly beautiful above the umbrealla shaped branches of a huge tree across the street. And I am thinking of things that are truly real.

As we walked the beach we met many strangers who wished us a happy new year. We also met a young man and probably his father. The young man had been a student at the school where Rachel works and she said to me after we walked on, "his family are Luddites." They have no modern electronics; it caused the teachers a lot of problems because they had to see that material other students were accessing online was available to him in written form. The same problems arose with his younger sister in the same (charter) school but teachers and administration made adjustments. She does not know the story or philosophy behind the family's decisions. But clearly people can live without these modern conveniences which most people think of as necessities.

In William Least Heat-Moon's book The Road to Quoz: An American Mosey which I read last month, he describes among the many people he met in him meandering journeys around America, a woman who lives "off the grid" -- i.e., she is a senior but does not accept social security, lives in a formerly abandoned trailer near a town in one of the Western states, buys only the most basic food and gathers other food both wild and from stores and restaurant discards, walks wherever she goes, has no electronics either.

The point is, we do not have to be immersed in the things of the society around us. We can choose how we live. I think most people are unaware that they have more choices than society suggests. I do not yet own a cell phone -- and haven't owned a TV for more than 30 years. To most people that make me a Luddite. Actually I pick and choose what I think I need. A computer is something I need. I have my reasons.

5 comments:

Christine Thresh said...

I think it is important for me to have a cell phone. I only carry it when I leave home. I do not talk on it when I am driving. However, I carry it for emergencies (or semi-emergencies). I was out and about doing things a few weeks ago. When I tried to start my car after picking up my mail, the car would not start. I know a young man that can help me with car problems so I called him. He came over and jump started my car.
My cell phone only costs me $25 every three months. I think it is money well spent. It would be scary to be stranded without it.

June Calender said...

Thanks, Christine. Car emergencies are the main reason I consider getting a cell phone. I suppose I will do it one of these days. However, I lived alone quite a few years before cell phones existed and drove a lot and had a few car emergencies and survived them without much difficulty.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

June -- interesting discussion. When I lived in Oregon, I knew a middle aged woman that carried a large cardboard sign in her car that read -- Help I Need a Cell Phone. She would get out of her car and hold it up to cars passing by if she broke down. She always got someone to stop and help her out. I have always remembered her sign and thought on occasion that I should make one to carry in my car as I don't have a cell phone anymore. Well, I didn't make the sign but broke down at the post office on a Sunday mailing a letter in town. I live outside of town. The USPO lot was empty. All of a sudden a small car drove up with an older couple in it. I got out of my car and went over to them and asked nicely if I could please use their cell phone for a quick call to my insurance company (I have road service with them). They gave me a rather weird look. they reluctantly gave me the phone -- made a quick call, thanked them and went back to my car.I thought I might not have a sign but I can talk so that was my way of dealing with the incident. Unfortunately nobody trusts anyone -- its a fear driven society. So maybe I had better get a cell phone for emergencies. I wonder where Christine got her phone for only 25.00 every three months? barbara

June Calender said...

Barbara, I'm a little surprised at the suspicious reaction you got since you're in a town, not a city where I think the fear factor is greater. It hasn't happened, but I think people where I live would be quickly helpful.

I have ads torn from the AARP magazine for a cell p$10 a month. I'd probably get a more expensive all purpose cell phone if I didn't have to purchase a land line in order to get internet connection.

Ladydy5 aka: Diane Yates said...

June allyou need is what we have. A Throw away phone. We buy the minutes and they usually up them for you anyway so you get twice as many as you paid for. We use it only if we must, traveling etc. Our minutes are usually good for 2 to 3 months and cost $20.00. I do not take photos with it although it is possible, do not text either. Hate that!