Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thank-You, Mr. Roddenberry

         I for one look forward to the advent of a Roddenberrian society. This would come to pass with the invention of the “Replicator” which in the Star Trek universe was a microwave oven like device which could create anything you wanted out of thin air. Simply give it a voice command, and a few seconds later you could open the door and remove your chosen dish. Whether it be a chocolate milkshake or some slimy Klingon delicacie still writhing around in the bowl.  I’m not sure why they never used the technology to create dylithium crystals or other parts for the ship’s engine; since that thing was breaking down pretty much on a weekly basis.
           Given recent speculation about the existence and nature of sub-atomic particles a replicator should be possible… beyond science fiction. I am a humanities geek, not a science geek so my understanding of such things is very basic. Everything in our universe is made up of molecules; different molecules combine to make different substances. Molecules are made up of atoms (protons, neutron, electrons etc) which interact and/or react in particular ways, resulting in the afore-mentioned multi-variant molecules. Theory has it (I don’t know if this has yet been established) that atoms are made up of something smaller and less defined, which for want of a better term is being called a subatomic particle. The subatomic particle is assume to be a single entity; this is perhaps untrue and simply a limitation of human imagination and our scientific equipments' ability to observe anything smaller. When we do finally get down to the smallest possible level of material existence we should be able to arrange those entities into their fore barer of choice. Basically arrange the subatomic particles into an atom of our choosing, and then arrange the atoms to create the necessary molecule, bring a series of these molecules together resulting in the desired object. Voile REPLICATION….Thank you Gene Roddenberry.
         I actually didn’t come to talk about replicators so much as what replicators would mean to us as humans. Of course, most importantly would be my personal and unlimited supply of Lindt milk chocolate, lol. But on a more general note there would be no need of money… everything we need to survive and thrive would be at our finger tips. Beyond simple food production, dish style devices could replicate homes, even entire communities. My friend and I were discussing this last week and she asked, “If there is no money, who would live in the big houses?” My response was, “The person who feels the need  for a big house”.  A house would no longer be a status symbol or an investment; it would very simply serve your personal needs. It would be a reflection of who you are and how you see yourself.
         In a Roddenberrian society everyone would be doing work that they love. Artistic people would spend their days creating art. Mechanically inclined people would design and build new things. Healers would heal through their chosen medium. The scientific mind would explore unknown truths. Adventurers would go out and explore our physical universe. People are NOT lazy, shiftless or unmotivated by nature. As a species we desire more than anything, to be productive contributing members of our communities. Sadly very few people get to do the thing they love (and would do best) because of practical considerations. With no need of money everyone is free to be who they are. Fear, greed and ego (not to be confused with self-esteem or pride) would all evolve out of existence because no one would have anything to prove (except to themselves)…. That is my perfect world  
          O.K. science geeks…. Get on that will you. Start building a replicator! First order of business is to replicate the replicator. Have a joyous day my friends and dare to dream.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Lost Innocents

         Last week a young woman died in an apartment in Toronto. Her passing went un-noticed by the media; she wasn’t a celebrity like Amy or Kurt. There will be no magazine articles detailing (or speculating about) the circumstances of her death. She won’t be remembered by the public like John Belushi or Judy Garland.
         Those who knew Starleigh… will remember. Her mother remembers the warmth of that tiny little body when she held her baby girl in her arms for the first time. Her father remembers helping her take her first wobbling steps, her tiny little hands wrapped securely around his fingers.  They remember a little girl whose eyes brightened with excitement at the prospect of birthday cakes, Christmas lights and new Barbie dolls. They remember a little girl with a heart full of curiosity and wonder as she discovered the world. From her first days at school to her first dates with boys… very ordinary moments from a very ordinary life… all worth remembering.
         Every human-being starts life as an innocent beautiful child. Every family who has lost a child to addiction clings to the hope that one day they will get well and return to them. Last week, for Starleigh’s family hope died in an apartment in Toronto. The hope that she would be able to watch her beautiful daughter graduate, or walk down the aisle. The hope that she would watch her little ones’ eye brighten at the sight of Christmas lights. That she would be around to sing silly songs and teach them how to ride a bike. The hope that she would one day be ordinary again.
         Starleigh… you left too soon. But you are remembered, you are loved and yes… your life mattered.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New You.

           New Year like no other time, prompts us to self examination. We look at our life to date and ask what would we change… more importantly what can we change. How do we proceed to become a better person? Last month my discussion group was talking about self-love (sadly lacking for so many), one of the ladies suggested that to love oneself would necessarily exclude any desire to change or grow. I, for one, love myself and have for as far back as I can remember. One of the things I love best about me, is my insatiable thirst for knowledge; academic (book smarts as granny would call it) or experiential (street/life smarts, also granny). So I like most of you am taking an annual inventory of my life and I will make a list of all of the things I would change. What about myself or my life should I hold on to and what should I get rid of and what should I add to make me and my life better.  

It is important when making such lists to remember the prayer of serenity…
                   God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
                   Courage to change the things I can and the
                   Wisdom to know the difference.

          I cannot effect the world beyond my touch, so an end to war, hunger, greed, fear and violence… are not topping my “to do” list. But I will do what I can, when I can in any given moment, to act against social injustice and poverty. There are so many important causes, I urge everyone to find one that speaks to your heart and do whatever you can to help forward their agenda. Trust me you will definitely grow from the experience ;-)
         That part of myself that believes in honour, humour & humanity…is irrefutably me and that will not change over time. No matter where I live or what is going on in my world I can’t imagine anything more important to my spirit than to be of service to others.
          So, for me I will hold onto my job with my wonderful little family… in spite of the early hours and modest pay, these people are such a joy to have in my life. Then there is my social work… (don’t get to spend as much time as I would like to) but that definitely stays. I want to volunteer more… it is so sporadic just now because my days off work are more often than not Tuesday & Thursday when Mission Services food-bank is closed. Perhaps I should find a similar position elsewhere on those Tuesdays & Thursdays, so I can volunteer somewhere at least once a week.  
        The one thing I want to add to my life is structure… I feel at loose end a lot of the time, kind of drifting from one day to the next. I work a few days a week and never know which will be my day off. As I say this perhaps, my schedule will have to be more of a checklist of things to be done in any given week. That would give me some structure with the flexibility to work around my job.
         So what are my New Year’s Resolutions
                                           1: Aquafit 2X weekly
                                           2: Volunteer 1X (minimum)
                                           3: Cook a full meal 1X weekly
                                           4: Take a class 1X weekly
                                           5: Write a blog 1X weekly
                                           6: Call an old friend 1X weekly
                                           7: Pottery / Paint 3X weekly

Wow I feel way better now that I’ve had a chance to sort that out… it doesn’t seem insurmountable …right? Lol. Have a 2012 filled with joy, peace & much love …