• Karen

Some things don’t change

Technology has changed the way we do everything from how we date to how we work. For many of us in developed countries, distance no longer impedes communication, and back-breaking labor is a thing of the past. And yet, on some deep level we remain the same people who gathered around fires seeking safety and solace in numbers. We still hunger for meaning and connection, and stories are still the ties that bind us together.


I was lucky enough to be asked to tell a brief story at White Rock Live. My 6 minutes and 40 seconds, the official length of a Pecha Kucha talk, focused on how we invest or waste the limited time we have in life. As fun as it is to be in the spotlight, a big benefit of such a gathering is hearing the stories of others. That night speakers shared their struggles with homelessness and infertility, as well as their thoughts on giving, connecting, and being part of a community. The magic of a story is ancient and powerful.


That night I noticed some other elements of life that remain the same in the face of a changing world. A few of my friends came to see me speak; the support and genuine good wishes of others are still important. The organizers pooled their expertise to make the evening possible. From the artisans who crafted the masks of ancient Greek actors, to the technicians setting lights and making digital recordings, storytellers have long benefited from the support of experts who may not be acknowledged.

Finally, we engaged in that ancient rite of sharing food and fellowship…only we called it intermission. Our intense need to be with each other has not been squashed by smartphone addiction. Not yet. Let’s hold on to these primal desires. No, I’m not asking you to give up technology, but I am asking that we acknowledge our true nature as social creatures who NEED each other and who connect best through telling and listening to stories.

Here’s a link so you can see the whole event https://wrwc.ca/wr-live-1



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(c) 2019 Karen Southall Watts