I was recently sent a link by a friend about a new library fad: borrow not a book but a person and an interesting link to a comment on this new fad!
A lot of food for thought.
I sent this link to many friends and one of them said the following: we will soon begin to barter ideas and expertise on a peer to peer / person to person basis as that would be the only validation for being human and worthwhile.
you will not need a gardener to do the garden or mow the lawn - you will need him for his insight and creativity - the manual labor ill shift to robots and automatons.
which is all the more reason to educate our children about the conceptual reality if life. that we are nothing if we don't create products of the mind. it can be values. it can be ideas, processes, products, advice, conscience, friendship, talk, coaching, teaching, storytelling, experience sharing - whatever but it has to come from the mind.
he goes on to add: we are human because we use our mind. period. the sooner we stop talking about the dignity of labor and start making it clear to everyone that there is no option to using our mind to create value which others might want to partake of - the better for everyone. otherwise we are going to see the kind of income inequality that we have never seen before.
Even in the parts of India where there is no food on the table - there is a mobile phone. and it's almost free to use. Lifetime Free. and what do people do on the mobile phone - they talk. and why would the poorest need a mobile phone. because even for them talking, sharing, communicating is more important than just eating. the hunger of the mind is a bigger necessity than the hunger of the stomach.
His approach seem a little bewildering at first but of you stop a and think, what he says is true and what is alarming is that for once the two Indias's hearts seem to be beating in unison. They are both spinning unconsciously towards a dystopic view of the world where the power of the mind is losing its importance.
When I was a young girl growing up in the mad sixties I saw Fahrenheit 451, a mind blowing movie by Francois Truffaut: a story about a society where books are banned and have to be burnt! A bunch of old men decide to memorise them so that they are not lost forever. The film end on a bitter sweet optimistic note: the said society is destroyed and a new one is about to be created: their first task is to build mirror factories, a literary allusion, to show people who they are, what they have become, and how they can change with time and knowledge.
Borrowing a person in a library seems akin to the Bradbury's soft science fiction novella. And are we today slowly but surely moving towards the self destruction of our dystopic society.
On a more optimistic note I would love to borrow the idea and create a library where one could borrow people who still have in the recesses of their memories stories about the past, the traditions, the mores , the of forgotten and never documented anecdotes that threaten to be lost forever. A few years back DV Sridharan the creator of GoodnewsIndia began a series titled memory speaks. I remember having written a few pieces that had been told to me by my mother when I was still a child. Some were amusing others thought provoking and all in need to be preserved before memory failed. The series sadly stopped. Today's new fad brought it back to me. I guess I too was a person that was once borrowed!