Monday 7 December 2009

Old school

I was at induction at IS last week. At the start of each month we run an induction programme for all the new folk joining the company. I generally spend an hour or so each month with the fresh starts, I share with them stories about our adventures, and I touch on areas such as leadership and values. I remember asking them all to turn off their cell phones before we began - it is amazing how many of them actually had to do this.

When you go to a movie (not that I have been in a while) do you turn your cell phone off? Or, how about if you go to the doctor? Is it because people just forget? Or, is technology really just making us stupid? What does it mean when some youngster tells you that they have a good relationship with someone - you need to question this. In today's world, the youth consider any person they have exchanged SMSes with as having a relationship. People they have not even met are considered close allies. Amazing!

Then, yesterday, in the Sunday Times I read an article by a local journalist, an old school person, with values and grounding, who was talking about Facebook. The journalist wrote that the main problem of Facebook is that it gives the illusion of friendship. "The loneliest woman I know keeps informing me that she has 745 friends on Facebook."

And, in another article in yesterday's paper, I read an interview by Barry Ronge with Clint Eastwood. "... the next day he was up early to do interviews with journalists, which he does with great courtesy and minimum fuss. He ambles into the room without an entourage, his hair tousled, wearing well-worn denims and sneakers, and shakes my hand. It is a reminder that the really big stars show up on time, give you their full attention and say 'Thank you for coming such a long way to see me' at the end of the interview." Ah, yes, grace - we don't see much grace in today's new world. Grace and fundamentals - where have they gone?

I am from the old school, and I can tell you, it is a good school - it taught us well.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker