None. It is kind of odd that I would say that in a blog devoted to technology, isn’t it?
I will start my day many times with a 5K run along a beautiful stretch down Green Pond Rd in Montague. Like many other runners, my companions for this ritual are my dog and, of course, my iPod. Today’s music mix about halfway through brought up John Mayer’s “Stop this Train,” live from, I believe, a show in Berkley. In that song, he sings “stop this train I want to get off- its moving way to fast”. As I ran along I thought how appropriate that song was for this past week. Indeed, we all wanted to stop the crazy train, and with it the horrific events that recently unfolded.
My best friend is of Wampanoag decent, and I have spent a lot of time with him and his family and attended many events and celebrations. Central to Native American culture is the notion that the warrior is a key figure in that society. This is certainly true, and the responsibility of those individuals is to protect and provide with emphasis on the latter being key, not the former. To provide brings a great level of respect for the individual and families.
Families or individuals doing something called “Giving Away” marks most events and celebrations. When you want to honor someone, you give away something of value to you. People sometimes give away large amounts of material things. You will also typically feed everyone gathered. The sign of a great family is a large “give away,” and providing for everyone is key.
As we start this holiday season I want to challenge you to think a little differently. Granted, the instinct to protect and provide is certainly present, and obviously amplified given recent events. I would also ask you to Engage. Take time to unplug, unwind and actually engage with family, friends and those around you. I have written in the past about the need to unplug and engage but I felt it was time to restate the case.
I teach First Aid at various levels, and one of the first things we need to teach people is how to engage. How to actually ask “Hey are you okay?”. We are very good at simply walking past or deciding that someone else will take care of the problem. We need to change that; we need to stop and engage people. We as a society need to get the kids away from the computer or video game. We need to get out and engage with society and the world around us. That is the only way to build the world we all want to live in. Engage.
So this holiday season, even if just for one day, leave the iPhone, Android phone, iPad, or whatever it is in the drawer and Engage and enjoy family, friends, and the season.