Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Stanley's world

My son and his family the day Stanley was born. 

Stanley Arthur Brown
Older sister Edith
I can now share photos and a name...
My daughter-in-law put the following on her face book page with a photo.

Introducing Mr. Stanley Arthur Brown. Born by water birth at 5 minutes past midnight on May 31st, weighing in at a healthy 3.98kg (8 pounds 12 ounces). Mother and baby doing well, and Daddy and Edith pretty chuffed 

So let me introduce you to my latest grandson. He came into the world four days ago.
As I held my grandson I got to wondering what sort of world will he live in?
- We are already feeling the impact of global warming. 95% (I think) of scientists conclude that we as a human race are contributing to this. There will be ongoing impacts on life an d lifestyle as little Stanley grows up.
- What will family life be like for people when young Stanley reaches adulthood. We were reading some old children's book to his older sister. They were books about a child's experience of the birth of a brother or sister and they were books my now forty year old had when he was a two year old. The assumed "family" was a married mum and dad. But even now the "family" experienced by many children growing up is very different from this once assumed norm.  This book could be classed as very un P.C. in today's world. Stanley's older sister had a birthday party a week or so ago. A beautiful little girl attended with her very lovely and pleasant mother. This lady was chatting about her partner and I soon learned that her partner was a woman. I'm OK with that, but that is a big change from when this family book was written. By the time Stanley grows and as an adult shares in a family, there will be many more different types of family in the community. 
- I worry about the morality of the future. I do not mean that I worry about "sex outside marriage", swearing, or these sort of moral conventions. But what sort of measuring stick or guidelines will be around for Stanley. I am intrigued. I am workplace chaplain for an historical brewery in Dunedin and have been chaplain to a very old newspaper. Both places have recently installed lockable doors and gates around their premises and various security measures. Is it an indicator that our society has got less safe? For well over 100 years both firms have operated with open driveways. Now, because of an increase in theft and probably more likely, vandalism, they need to install lockable gates and doors. Our political parties now are hard to follow. Once principled, they now seem to change their mind according to popular perceptions. There tends to be the same measure applied to how we behave. If "everyone does it" it must be OK. We are learning that top cricketers can be swayed to cheat given enough money. Leading politicians have been found out and seen to be fudging the lines of honesty and integrity. How will Stanley measure what is right and wrong, what is of value and not of value? The Church in New Zealand has little and will have less and less impact. I am not saying all of it's moral teachings have been good, but at least the "way" and "spirit" of Jesus was kept alive by the Church. How will Stanley know the great "Golden Rule"? (Present in at least 26 major religions) 
- There will be incredible technological progress in the world. I worked on our building project yesterday by myself. I did not even get out the electric power saw. The things I cut I did with a hand saw. I took apart a machine with a hand screw driver.  Today my forty year old son was back working with me. I noticed the first thing he did was get out and set up electric saws.  He pulled the same machine apart, but he used a drill screw driver to do the job. The technological differences between my generation and that of my children are big, but Stanley will use technology that has not yet been invented, that would completely boggle my mind. Jobs open to him have not been invented yet. Life will be VERY different for him.

It will be interesting. If I am lucky I may get to see Stanley turn fifteen. Given my genetics it is unlikely. But this I know the world he grows into will be very different from mine.

1 comment:

Keith Harris said...

Welcome to the world, Stanley, such as it is. I hope you will grow up to follow your grandparents' example and contribute to the well-being of your peers. Congratulations Dave, Jean and family.