One community. One voice. One vision for our city.

In the Diary Of Anais Nin Volume 5 1947-1955: Vol. 5 (1947-1955) Nin wrote, “It is a sign of great inner insecurity to be hostile to the unfamiliar.”

Yet, everyday, we resist change, different, new.

Way, way back in the late 70s, I worked for a technology company that built and sold word processors. The goal was to put a system on the desk of every secretary. Even the scientists, the visionaries, the trailblazers missed the mark on that one.  ‘No manager, or lawyer, or doctor, or engineer is going to want a computer on their desk,’ the pundits said. ‘Only secretary’s need them.’

Fast forward 40 years and the ubiquitous laptop appears everywhere, in everyone’s hands, in coffee shops, in accounting rooms and word processing pools, on planes and boats and trains, in libraries and executive offices. The laptop belongs to everyone. It doesn’t care about gender. It’s egalitarian.

When I look back on the changes to views of women, there are so many changes. Hard fought for. Hard won. The right to hold title to land, the vote, the fall of men only clubs and bars and, the word processor.

The word processing system was meant to make a woman’s life easier — the majority of secretary’s were women, and making them work faster, more efficiently, and less repetitively was the goal of getting the systems into the marketplace.

How wrong can we get on where change is leading us?

Which brings me to the point of this post.

When laptops began to take over the desktops of the corporate world, there were many, many executives and professionals of every age who swore they would never use one. Like a lion holding court over its den, there was a certain pride in not having one on your desk, in not knowing how to type.

Now? Knowing how to type is invaluable.  For everyone.

Which leaves me wondering. As voice recognition continues to become ever more effective and decipherable (I love how dictating texts can create such delightful mis-meaning!), will typing become the thing that ‘the older generation’ did? Will it too become a thing of the past like the dusty Underwood typewriter I have finally chosen to let go of as I clear and cull our house?

If instead of thinking about all that I am letting go of, I chose instead to embrace this move with the anticipation of all I am creating room for in our lives, would it be easier to be less hostile and insecure in the changes. In that place, would I be able to joyfully accept the inevitability of change and welcome in its possibilities?

A meandering stream of consciousness this morning as we prepare to put this house on the market and I prepare to greet my day.

The sky is slowly lightening. The world continues to turn as Calgary faces the outcome of another civic election. Not many faces have changed on the mayoral and councillor list. Yet, so much changed throughout the campaign.

I hope as the Mayor and Council get back to the business of running this city, they see the outcome of the election, not as a statement of their need to hold onto what they’ve got, but rather, as an invitation to let go of the bitterness and hostility that bubbled up all over the campaign trail.

In that space of letting go, I hope they find the courage to give into acceptance and forgiveness, courage and possibility. I hope they can feel secure enough to embrace change as together, with all of community, we work to create a great city for everyone. One community. One voice. One vision for our city.



6 thoughts on “One community. One voice. One vision for our city.

  1. Elgie,

    oh boy .. you triggered some memories with your column; memories of you, memories of AES and Underwood memories. The greatest course I ever took was grade 7 typing – on one of those old monster noisy Underwoods. If it wasn’t for Lynn Holmes in the next row grabbing my attention so well I might never have learned ‘touch typing at high speed’ nearly as well. Fast forward to 1980’s, I started my own business – needed typewriters. My wife said NO to my idea of an IBM Selectric Memory Typewriter – she said, ‘wordprocessor’ … and we checked them out … Wang, Phillips, AES. We loved AES and we never met you – but as we’ve discussed, we we ‘nearly met’ back then. At one point we had 4 AES machines and a monster Digital CPU server … and I always had one on my desk.

    I often wonder, if the great writers of history had a tool they could copy/paste, edit and manipulate … what might they have done?

    Just as typing replaced longhand, dictation to secretaries drove the business world … I don’t know if the creative writer will make the shift to voice-alone …. because seeing your words on a page is something I can’t write without.

    Does the Underwood work? When is the garage sale … I’d like to make a bid


    Liked by 1 person

    • Alas. It is gone. If I don’t get things out of the house right away…. well, you know what might happen…. I change my mind! 🙂

      I do agree with you — I too love to see my words as I type. Not sure I can speak the same. I wonder if in some way the great writers of history were so great because they didn’t have the luxury of cut and paste and had wrote to make every word count.


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