I have not always given my son-in-law credit for the many good things he does. For example, when I was publishing my first book, he gave me a terrific photograph he’d taken which we used for the front cover but I neglected to acknowledge that in the book. People loved that cover and I often told them that my son-in-law had taken it, but it should have been noted in the publications. There are many other such examples.
But I must give him credit for a great idea he recently had when my granddaughter had to complete her Grade 12 year online and have her graduation event by ZOOM. It was a bit of a disappointment which was made worse with the realization that she would not be going away to university but would have to stay home and complete her first year digitally.
However, her father cleverly proposed that, since this was an important transition that needed to be marked, perhaps it would be a good idea to transform her room so as to make it a really good space for her online program. She jumped on the idea, quickly cleaned out her room, and packed up boxes for storage or donation. After lengthy research, she chose the perfect colour for repainting the room and now has it nicely set up with a well-placed desk and appropriate bookcases. It was a brilliant suggestion, one that might be good for many 2020 grads.
We do need to mark transitions, especially these days as we are now living in a time that requires attention and will involve a profound culture change. Many of us feel that we are already being altered by the convergence of the Covid crisis, the climate crisis, the critical need for anti-racism activism, and the anticipated economic crisis. The changes within us are happening gradually and not always observed.
I don’t know how we will mark the transitions that must take place in all these areas, transitions that, I believe, are beginning to take place. Most of us are trying at least to make a start. Maybe we need to set goals and establish targets and timelines. Maybe we should all keep journals of our individual progress. Maybe we ought to have periodic townhalls for discussion and exchange of ideas. Maybe we just need to say less and listen more. Give space for change to happen.
However we go about it, I feel sure that our transitions need to be marked.
And that good ideas and actions should always be acknowledged.