Teach your Children

 It was a hot afternoon and we couldn’t even see the mountains for the smoke from the dozens of wildfires ravaging the interior of the province. 

            ‘Remember ‘Teach your children well’ by Crosby, Still, Nash and Young?’ I asked Camp after I sat down. ‘I sometimes wonder what we teach our children. How about critical thinking, dissemination of facts from fiction, common sense, altruism, sharing, community sense?’

            ‘All good skills my friend but many parents don’t have them so how can they teach their children when they are glued to their devises for an average of 6 hours per day,’ Camp said. ‘Exposed to a smorgasbord of opinions, points of view, real and fake news. Not so much philosophy or history, mathematical equations or literature, although it’s all there on the world-wide-web.’

            ‘Scary isn’t it. I read an interview with Roger McNamee, Zuckerberg’s ex-mentor. He claims that Zuckerberg and Sandberg run an autistic empire and their hunger for power and profit has plunged the social media giant into disaster, completely the opposite of their progressive initial intentions. He also says that Google, Facebook and Twitter only serve themselves and have imposed their anti-social values on the world. Joe Biden said recently that ‘They are killing people’ referring to their mis-management of fake and misleading sites.’

            ‘There always were snake-oil salesman but never with this mammoth of a gullible public. Millions of people follow Joseph Mercola and his ilk, profiting from selling repackaged vitamins and hydrogen peroxide sprays as covid remedies.’ 

            ‘Now that more and more governments are washing their hands of the pandemic, leaving the management of the virus up to their citizens, we will see more enterprising charlatans and truth-sellers,’ Camp said, ‘and the unvaccinated will all get the virus and be immune and vindicated with their self-serving beliefs.’

            ‘Except they will not be allowed to travel internationally, work in healthcare or the federal government and have to pay for tests and treatments.’

            ‘You may be right but I also fear that some of the controls and oversights, the tracking and even some restrictions will stay in place. Health, testing, vaccination and travel records are already available to the governments as are credit card payments. Big brother already knows where we’ve been, what we’ve shopped and which restaurants, clubs and pubs we frequented.’ 

            ‘Yes, and the history of these past two years will be revised and the outcomes twisted. In the end the pandemic will be seen just as a viral flu outbreak and the vaccine will be as common as aspirin and available in pill form.’

            ‘Meanwhile there are another 80 million more people in the last year roaming this fragile planet and climate migrants and refugees fleeing wars and destitution are on the move by the millions, mostly towards the north.’

            ‘At the same time, we are driving better cars, using more advanced gadgets, cleaning up and improving our electricity productions and changing our diets, all serving to improve our standard of living, make us feel good and set us even further apart from each other, all while the world’s atmosphere and oceans and the very air we’re breathing, is changing for the worse.’

             ‘It’s a great age for the rich and well to do and the two of us are part of this exalted group, living the best lives of any generation. Should we feel guilty or just enjoy it? Camp said.

            And do what?’ I said, do penance and deprive ourselves of luxuries that we deem necessities like our unlimited supply of food, entertainment and beer?’

            ‘And what will you teach the children and their young parents?’

            ‘To play with sticks and stones, run and play games, fight and disagree and sort it out and disregard their stupid phones and listen to their elders when they call for lunch or dinner.’

            ‘Utopia, my friend, is not around the corner but only in your mind. Let’s ask Vicky what she teaches her children.’

            ‘Respect,’ she said, ‘all I need is some respect for trying to be the best I can.’

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