Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass- it is about learning to dance in the rain.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cultural Ponderings
From which Age are you?

Technological AgeBoth a Diversity class that I've taken and responses to blogs in which I've written a bit about my unorthodox upbringing or at least referred to it in passing as background for attitudes, etc. have given me pause to think about my cultural past. From a post-modern viewpoint, things like killing animals for food seems worlds away from our modern society. And it is. Given my (not so advanced) age...come on now, I'm young enough to blog!!... and rural upbringing, I realize that I have spanned several centuries in terms of lifestyle. Hey, I'm still in my 50's!

If you take Toffler's wave theory, the world entered Wave One as an agricultural society, leaving hunting and gathering (and living in caves) behind. Maybe this happened sometime several thousand years ago, except in the case of certain Indigenous groups and some spots on the globe where nomadic hunting and gathering behaviors continued, or may even continue today.

Then the Second Wave began with the industrial revolution, the gathering of people in large cities with nuclear families rather than extended ones, an education system and development of corporations. And depending on where one lives, this began sometime in the 18th Century and continued until the present in which the Third Wave has begun, the Technological Wave. (It may go by other names, depending on the writer). But we live in an era in which Services and Technology are of paramount importance.

Technological AgeSo, I sit here writing in the Third Wave, using a computer with two screens attached and a laptop at hand. (I do not carry the Blackberry, etc...but am thinking of upgrading my phone!)

Industrial Age
My earliest life was firmly set in the Industrial Age: My Dad worked in the Automobile Industry, lived frugally in order to save enough money to purchase a farm -- to set us back in the Agricultural Age.

Agricultural Age
On a farm in a rural area with no phone, no emergency services available (without a 30 minute drive to the nearest town) and dependence on the whims of wind and rain, one learns to be self-reliant. Gardens were a necessity, as was canning and freezing food. One had to be prepared for the drought, flood or early frost that inevitably occurred. During tough times, we hunted and fished for food. Wild berries and nuts were also a source of food. We lived in the Agricultural Age, in the 1960's.

Hunters and Gatherers

Except during those tough times. While we were never homeless or nomadic, we certainly were dependent on hunting and gathering. I can shoot with the best of them. But my Dad had limits. He would not stoop to eat Raccoons or O'Possums. Well, as a guest, we did once eat Raccoon, but never O'Possum. He said that was only fit for the dogs.

Just for the record, we never would eat pets either. Dogs and cats were tended to well, although they lived in the barn, not the house. However, rabbits, squirrels, frogs (big ones), turtles (huge ones), fish, quail, wild turkey, duck, and deer were food. We didn't have access to bears, alligators, or ostrich, but I suppose they would have been food, too.

Technological Age
So I am seated firmly in the Technological Age, writing about experiences that send me back to the Stone Age -- almost. I teach students many of whom have had the same experiences as I. Or their parents have. Coming from underdeveloped countries, they lived in a rural societies much like mine. The difference is that it was last year and they have had little or no transition through the Industrial Era. Many have come from an Agricultural setting unchanging for the past 100 years or so, and with a single move have landed in a Post-Industrial, Technological society. To add to their confusion, they often speak little or no English. And this year, I will be working with those parents to help students succeed in school.

Interesting, isn't it? God uniquely prepares us for a specific role even when we are blithely unaware of it. My hillbilly life really is of some practical use to me, and not just some curiosity for my friends to ponder, even though I live in the Technological Age! Must be God's Plan!

So, what about you? Have you always been a "Techno"? Or are you in touch with another Age? In what ways has God specifically prepared you for the task at hand?

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Jeremiah 29:11


Ballerina Girl said...

I can't say that I have really lived in anything but the techno age....but I did say to my husband, oh so many years ago...
I am a ballerina, what would I need a computer for?

PJ said...

BG, Little did any of us foresee our dependence on computers for communication, especially. I feel like an arm is missing if mine is not up and running!!

Marina said...

these was good PJ when I first went to school I spoke no english and I was born in america and yes both my parents are born in america and are educated it was my grandparents that where form mexico I still remember seeing my grand mother washing by hand she was a hard wroking women who love the lord and always told me stories how good vs evil and to stay on the good side of life ( meaning in Christ) I am not too far behind you in age ")
I hope you had a nice week in school,love.marina

Mary said...

Is there such a thing as the "Lost" age? If so, then that would definitely be my era!!! I wish I could answer your question about how God has prepared for the current task at hand but I am still a bit lost. I recently quit a job that I had served for 8 1/2 years. Now, I struggle to find another and wonder.. what in the heck am I suppose to be doing with my life? Because the answer has not struck me down like a bolt of lightning.. I sit and patiently wait. Yep.. I think it's the "Lost" age for me. ;-)

Maggie - Mom of Six said...

I am mostly techno. although we do have a garden and when crops do well, I can and I freeze and we have chickens for their eggs. In my teenage years, the only people with car phone were those who were extremely rich but we knew it was just a matter of time. We were introduced to computer programming and the only ones with computers at home were the geeks but we knew it was just a matter of time. A day without my cell phone is now unimagineable. How would I function? Probably with a lot less stress than I have now but then again, I don't know. My kids could not reach me in an emergency but they also could not reach me to tell me who poked who. Without the computer, I would be dependent upon my newspaper and tv for the news and I certainly would never have been able to work from home.

and what was God preparing me for? Time to be with my kids before they all got into school. Time to be with them during the summer. Ways to be in touch with the entire youth group (yes, I have a myspace and facebook profile). I don't know....definitely a point to ponder.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I have you on my blogroll for posts just such as this. You are amazing. You not only teach in person but also on the web. Your personal experience being related to your career now speaks volumes, also without being preachy.As for my personal experience, I always relate to the line in "Brown-Eyed Girl" about the transistor radio!

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