The U.S. has had at least one first lady who probably had done a better job than most of the men who have occupied the Oval Office since that time, including her own husband. Among the many sensible things Eleanor Roosevelt said was :
Do one thing everyday that scares you.
It is no coincidence that I chose this particular quote. Among the many qualities we need in life, I think courage is the most important thing. That has probably been true at all times, but it is especially important nowadays.
Much of what I ‘ve written lately is about courage (mostly on my Norwegian blog, though). We live in a time that requires a lot of it. On a personal level, it is important to seize the opportunities life gives us, but also in terms of the way society has evolved.
One of my favourite topics recently has been information, or rather the lack of it. We have never had more opportunities to learn and be informed, especially through the internet, but the information is still less accessible than ever before. There is a lot of ” snuggle-TV” on the standard TV channels, and among the rest there isn’t much curiosity of the kind that digs beneath the surface. The newspapers say the need to charge for online editions because journalism costs, but it seems to be dead anyway. It is also important to filter what you read because there is a lot of misinformation, both intended and unintended.
I have also thought about the cooperation with the NSA, as Snowden revealed. Norway is part of a large international intelligence community. We give these other organizations, mainly the Americans fairly free rein in Norway. We believe we have just helped them to spy on Russian politicians and industry, but NSA did in fact monitor Norwegian cell phone traffic as well. That’s what we know, but there is probably a lot more. In return, NSA is supposed to provide information about threats against Norway. I suppose we are talking about information that they don’t see the value in keeping, and I’m not sure it will be of any value to us either.
The world is becoming increasingly more secretive. It worries me that this happens without any kind for objection. It doesn’t seem to bother anyone. Maybe there isn’t much we can do, but I think this knowledge should have an influence on how we live our lives. I have always been a rather conventional type. I am not interested in making myself more visible, but suddenly alternative lifestyles are becoming more appealing. I think we should all be less dependant on authorities and big corporations.