In my post Learning In The 21st Century, Nick had commented as “Indeed, resisting change is pretty futile when so much is changing so fast. If you resist change you’ll soon become an eccentric old hermit. I’ve got used to all the constant changes in banking procedures, in payment methods, in booking arrangements, in airline security and a hundred other things. And we’ll be doing everything differently again in ten years’ time.”
I had responded with: “Resistance is really futile in modern conditions. A simple example has been the rapidity with which cash based economies have moved to digital payment ones.” Here is one proof, even if it is a spoof.
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ”
~ Alvin Toffler
I love to learn new things and also am today forced to unlearn many things due to the very rapidly changing and unpredictable ways of the 21st Century. The Covid Pandemic has also ensured that one is restricted in one’s movements, forcing one to find ways to amuse /occupy oneself and this too leads to unlearning and learning new things.
I have blogged about many instances of my learning new things and here is one of those posts to lighten up the mood here. My readers will also recollect my earlier post where I learnt about pupcakes.
Today, when I came across the Alvin Toffler quote with which I have started this post, I had just unlearned that my old way of using my new cellphone will not work and I had to learn the new and correct way to use it for one particular application. I had just finished that activity when I had to learn how to use my cellphone’s banking application to do something new that I had never done before.
I think that most of us are like me unlearning and learning new things and the most important thing that we are learning constantly is that there is absolutely no use resisting change that is all the time overtaking us.
I have lived in the same neighbourhood in the same house for the past more than thirty years and am known to many of the merchants who have shops in our neighbourhood.
Today, I had to make use of the services of two of them who extend me the courtesy of home delivery.
The first was a stationer AJ, who arranges to get my paperback books covered in plastic regularly besides keeping me supplied with other stationary items as needed. My home is halfway between his and his shop and I simply call him up and he comes home to collect the books on his way either to or from his shop and the next day will return them after covering. He will also deliver other items similarly.
I have been using all kinds of paper weights to keep my newspapers from flying off in the mornings when I have a strong breeze blowing in from our garden. Today I suddenly remembered the old paper weights which were routine features on all office desks in the good old days and asked AJ if he had any and was pleasantly surprised to find that he indeed had. I ordered for one and he delivered me the ordered one and a free one as a loyalty bonus! The ordered one is the multi coloured one on the left and the bonus is the plain simple one on the right.
The second was from a sweetmeat seller who too has been delivering at home for me for many years following his finding out about my health issues. Today, I ordered for two sweets from him The top one is called laddoo and the bottom one kalakand. When I opened the parcel after I brought the package home, I discovered another small box containing these pedas too. I thought that there must have been some mistake and called them back only to be told that the packet of pedas was with their compliments for being such a good customer.
A day for gifts much appreciated.
Incidentally, my learning process continued. Since I do not normally keep cash at home, I decided to pay using my bank’s tele-banking application which I had to learn to use as so far, I had used Google Pay which gave me problems in the new telephone. My resident geek took great pleasure in being the father for the child.
Nothing else recently has happened to me to give body to that definition than my latest adventures with my new phone which I was gifted just a couple of weeks ago.
This model is very different in many ways than the one that I had used for many years before acquiring this one. It has been a continuous learning process since I acquired it and almost on a daily basis I have had to unlearn earlier ways to learn new ways with this.
The latest adventure was when I had to add a new contact to my bank of contacts when it simply refused to accept the full name of the contact and stopped at half way through the surname. I battled with it for over an hour before asking for help from my DIL who readily, if somewhat amusedly sorted it out for me and also taught me how to do it by myself the next time I had to add a new contact.
I never had any doubts that I was educated and this adventure simply proves that I am as, I am still, at the age of 78, capable of learning.
I had taken my first jab on March 30, 2021 about which experience, I had written a blog post too. At the time of the vaccination, I was advised to take a second jab between six and eight weeks but, later on, we were advised to take it after twelve weeks. Since the last ten days, I had been getting reminders from the authorities to register for the second vaccination and I wanted to wait till my son and daughter in love who had got their vaccinations on April 2, 2021, also got their reminders before registering.
As it happens so often in my life, we got an alert from our Club that vaccination for members was being organised at the Club premises on July 2, 2021 and we promptly registered for that a few days ago.
We were allotted a slot between 12 noon and 1 pm earlier today for the vaccination and the three of us went on time and got ourselves registered.
An advantage of being a Senior Citizen was that I was promptly taken ahead of the others waiting in the queue for my jab and the whole thing was handled efficiently and with care and concern by the staff handling the process. Manjiree and Ranjan had to wait for their turn for another ten minutes. Once their vaccination was over, they were advised to wait for fifteen minutes near the venue and I waited outside. We were out of the club premises in forty minutes all told.
Quite an impressive performance I should say.
I now have to continue my home stay precaution for two weeks more due to my other health issues after which I am looking forward to more going out adventures.
The question in the title for this blog post has been asked by Shackman. For him perhaps the new normal is strange and perhaps even awe inspiring as he lives in the USA,
For me, at my age of 78 and with health issues that have made mobility quite a problem for me for the last few years, the new normal is not something that I will have to get used to as apart from the need to wear a mask when going out and maintaining social distance, my life style is unlike to change much. I have been confined to my city and even there, to within my home for the past five years and so the limitations imposed by the pandemic have not seriously affected me bar some minor inconveniences on and off like the barber shop or the pedicurist being shut on lockdown days.
Leaving my personal life alone however when I see the trends around me, I can see major thrusts in the way people work and move about in day to day life. Increasing use of the internet and AI will radically change things and the immediate casualty that I foresee will be a collapse in the housing and business property businesses with many buildings already built not finding buyers. Sale of automobiles will also very likely take a hit as commuting will become less necessary and the travel and hospitality businesses will also see drop in volumes.
Health related businesses will change to be better equipped to meet emergencies having learnt from the stress undergone due to the pandemic. I anticipate more training institutions coming up in the areas of medicine and nursing as shortages were felt during the recent past.
This likely scenario is unlikely to seriously affect me personally and with that observation, I conclude this post with the question asked addressed to my readers. I look forward to hearing from them about how the new normal will be for them.
This is my take on this week’s Friday 3 On 1 blog posts where Sanjana, Shackman and I write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been suggested by Shackman. Please do go over to the other two blogs to see what they have to say on the same topic. Thank you.