It’s only been about a week since my last blog post, but so many ideas have come and went. It’s difficult to imagine that there was once a time when we didn’t document every day. Before social media, there were cameras but we only carried them on vacations or special occasions. People didn’t usually take pictures of their food to share with others on a daily basis or “tag” themselves as they arrived at a new location. They just ate and went and did, without any documentation.
Yesterday I led a current events discussion at the Jewish Family & Children’s Service’s Center for Senior Enrichment. It was the first time I’d done anything like this and it was so fun! I brought some topics to discuss – #RedforEd, the migrant caravan, the Gaza border protests and the nation-state bill in Israel – and we had a great discussion.
One of the things we talked about was how society’s perception of things changes with time. What used to be widely accepted is now condemned. Things that were once considered scandalous is now mainstream: Interracial relationships, divorce, single mothers, gay marriage, marijuana use, interfaith marriage. I find this so fascinating – how things that were considered absolutely wrong, no doubt about it, is now so widely acceptable that people who still look down upon any of those are now condemned for thinking negatively about them.
At one point in my college career, I considered majoring in sociology because I find it so fascinating. I also considered anthropology and thought maybe I’d travel to some isolated village to conduct research about their society. Instead I chose journalism because I thought that would be a wiser career decision (ha!), plus I couldn’t imagine anything better than being paid to write about a variety of topics. Studying journalism in college was ideal because it’s one of those careers you learn by doing. There wasn’t much studying, it was more about getting out there and reporting, writing and and experiencing the world around you.
That practice continued in real life, too. When reporters started at the paper, there wasn’t any formal training program, it was “Here’s your story, here are your sources: Go.”
A couple weeks ago I had my first speaking engagement outside of working at the paper, although it was speaking about the Jewish News, and was held at the Valley of the Sun JCC. I gave a brief history of the paper – it turns 70 this year – and talked about how the paper has changed over the years and how it depends on the support of the community. It was a small group, but we had a nice discussion.
After 17 years in one role (editor at a community paper), I feel like my perception of myself is changing, too. Public speaker? Current events discussion facilitator? These are both new, but I guess we’re always reinventing ourselves during our lives. Becoming a wife, becoming a mother, those are big ones. Growing, changing, succeeding, failing, learning from failures, doing things you never thought you’d be doing. The world is evolving and we are also evolving as individuals and communities. Onward!