“We forget that any form of conversion is a step forward. But, one’s steps take longer when you must walk to get a pail of water rather than turn on a faucet; you are moving none the less. It just takes a bit more time…”
(I was getting my head around the breadth of Monique’s wonderful response to my blog post).
The debate, of course, is whether it true that any form of conversion is a step forward. Or maybe it doesn’t matter because going backward won’t work either. I finally decided that the superior approach is to be as informed as possible about what are actually converting and the implications.
The last time I had to walk to get a pail of water was decades ago at my parents’ summer cabin. For many people today it’s still a reality, not a metaphor.
As often happens, the world gave me an almost immediate opportunity to carry that metaphoric pail of water. In the November 25 San Francisco Chronicle is an extended article about 17 “rare earths” and new (to me) elements that are already essential our future. They are reportedly present everywhere from the gasoline in our cars to the electronic tools in our homes and work places. It’s their magnetic properties that make them so important and valuable. Where they are located in the world certainly has financial and political implications.
I admit I’ve not heard of most of them. I further admit I know nothing about where they are or what it will take to mine them. Scandium: atomic number 21. Lanthanum: 57. Cerium: 58. Praseodymium: 59. Neodymium: 60. And the list goes on.
Suddenly I was the boy carrying the metaphoric pail of water. The “new normal” slipped past me while I wasn’t looking. Elements I’ve never heard of are present in and essential to the life I’m living. It isn’t good. It isn’t bad. Returning to an earlier time isn’t an option. Another opportunity for me to make the effort to learn and understand.
Darn, and I thought I could take a break for a while and just coast!
Please share your thoughts about change, moving forward, coasting, or anything else that this post inspires. Thanks, George.