News and Tribune

Columns

May 31, 2013

STAWAR: Don’t shoot the black swans

Last week at the Springfield College commencement, Massachusetts Sen. Elisabeth Warren advised graduates that they should always be open to the unexpected, since that is where opportunity often resides. 

She also said they should never be so committed to their life plan that when they hit that inevitable bump in the road, that they lack “the resiliency to rethink and regroup.”

In the years since my college graduation, an incredible number of unexpected things have happened that no one saw coming. The personal computer, the Internet, video games, social media and smart phones are a few of the most obvious ones. Father John Culkin of Fordham University once said, “A lot of things have happened in the 20th century and most of them plug into the wall.” 

In the wireless 21st century, most of them now involve screens. 

When television first became popular, people said that watching too much would make your eyes go square, and even today people worry that too much “screen time” might harm your vision, as well as your health and social life. To counter this, some schools, families and even businesses are now requiring a certain amount of “screen-free time” each week. People apparently have a natural affinity to watching screens, which is probably related to our ancestors being fascinated by the sights seen safely from their cave windows. 

Virtual screens have been with us as far back as the 11th century, when Saint Clare of Assisi is said to have watched church services miraculously projected onto her bedroom wall when she was too ill to attend in person. In 1958, Pope Pius XII declared Clare the patron saint of television. 

As a young child, I would stare at a cardboard box with a circle drawn upon it and imagine that I could see spaceships. Eventually, video games easily caught up and surpassed my limited imagination, as did word processing. 

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
LOCAL MAGAZINES
Easter 2014 photos


Click on any photo to purchase it.

SPECIAL CONTENT
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
2013 Photos of the year


Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.