Freeman Cebu Business

Backed to the future

BUSINESS AFTER BUSINESS - Romelinda Garces - The Freeman

Being on a work from home status reduced my travel time. And this has gained me moments with Netflix at night. Yes, I do have to work at daytime no matter how boring it is to be kept on the phone and the computer at alternating segments.

But what has kept me late at night are not the series of movies that used to get me glued to the screen on weekends. Perhaps all these COVID-related anxieties led me instead to viewing more relaxing movies and I find myself caught in all the artistry of animation movies in the kid’s channel.

The usual drama of love, war, and survival remains. Perhaps this is because this is part of our everyday life.

When I was a kid, I would find myself lost in all the heroics in Justice League America superheroes and those in DC Comics. Boy were they exciting! As I grew older, I noted some of the events in the comic books come to form. For instance, there was this story of Flash whose wife was “two-timing”, not quite a good title for a kid’s literature eh? But it was literally two-timing. She belonged to the future and lived in the present. Now present then was the late 60s and early 70s and there was not much fuss about water shortage and all. 

In the story, Flash had to look for his wife who went “back to the future” to find herself.  And as Flash did, he saw how rivers were encased in plastic. How people would line up for their daily water dole, and how rations were made into packets of processed nutrients. The cities were encased in bottles, and transportation no longer used the roads alone but would levitate to the elevation of a condominium to drop its passengers there. Now we see bottled water, processed food aplenty, electric cars, and who knows what next.

In another story, I think of Green Lantern, he had to shield some children as balls of hail fell down from the sky in the sudden change of weather. Climate change.

With Batman, Superman and Ironman, we find them rescuing the world from atomic bombs, bio-weaponry, and gas poisoning. Pandemic.

The writers of these stories must have been geniuses with futuristic sights or perhaps they were simply gifted with a keen sense of observation on reality, on humanity. 

How we live actually shows how we will live in the future. Our being wasteful of resources we think will out-survive us without thinking of the future generation like water and energy. There are other things we are wasteful of as well. Time is among them. Our judicious use of time for pursuits that give us something gainful. Not just in terms of material things but in relationships as well.

For instance, how many hours do we waste on the phone, seeking people in facebook, IG, tiktok or what have you?  Oh yes, it does have entertainment value and is also a good start-off point when you are searching for people and may even begin the mode for keeping in-touch.  Yet nothing beats a good actual conversation. Even in the height of the pandemic, a personal call is better than the shallow “How R U” posts that are copied and pasted to “all friends”.  Perhaps it’s time to go back to the rule of no cellphones at the table and no calls while the “family is on”.  Because mind you, even mom and dad seem to have phones as hand extensions.

Maybe I am too old. But I would still want a person to focus on me when we talk. And not listen and check the phone now and then.

We have to go back to the basics and learn to pay attention more. Observe more.  Perceive and verify more. If we are negligent of what stares us in the face, one day, we will find ourselves backed to a future where you have nowhere to go.

Water is totally desalinated and you will miss the sweetness of clear fresh, unadulterated spring water. The seas are slimy and itchy and beaches are cluttered with so much garbage there is no space to pitch your umbrella or spread your mat. No breeze to refresh your lungs in a polluted atmosphere. No friend to talk to as you all have to hide in your homes to avoid disease.  Like now. 

Are we already backed into a bleak future? I would not want to think so.

We must pray, and act.

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