How many people does it take to change a lightbulb? Thus goes the old joke. A newer version might be: How many people does it take to install a printer? or How many people does it take to complete other software tasks on one’s computer? My son and daughter-in-law, computer whizzes both, are always willing to help, but even they can’t avoid all the “wrinkles.”
I’ve been having computer challenges lately (euphemism for “grrr, my computer’s acting up) and now I have my old dying one, a netbook PC, and a brand new Mac. To go with them, I have an HP printer/fax/scanning machine—it’s been fabulous over the years I’ve had it (a gift from the two computer whizzes). Discussion among these devices is still dicey, but slowly shaping up. My Mac installed my printer automatically when connected, but the notebook?—not so much. I have to download a driver first. All discovered by my clever relatives.
All this seems such an analogy for daily life: people who function beautifully by themselves but can’t inter-relate, people who speak eloquently but can’t communicate, people who act at cross-purposes—essentially oblivious to each other. Our need to communicate has driven us from conversation to letter to telephone to email to Facebook to twitter to messaging and beyond, but we still have trouble getting through. In this holiday season, we will likely spend more time with friends and family than at any other time of year. Perhaps the most important gift we can give each other is the gift of communication—both sharing and listening/hearing—and seeing through the windows that lead us to know each other better.