Sometimes people just show us the way. Moving us forward into a better tomorrow. I like people like that. I like them a lot.
For the last little while on twitter I have seen many learned individuals who are reaching out and trying to make a difference. Heather Payne, whom I have never met, is the co-founder of the Ladies Learning Code Group. Heather is an accomplished young woman who helps run this group, dedicated to getting more ladies involved with technology. I was unfortunately unable to make their first meeting/planning session, but that gathering resulted in the upcoming training workshops. Hands on, learning, expanding. People becoming better.
She and her co-founders (Rochelle Latinsky, Melissa Crnic and Vicki Laszlo) have set a benchmark with such a noble goal. Who knows what the next generation, influenced by these woman, will be capable of? I have only a small contribution to their cause with the occasional retweet and some direct invitations, but I am cheering them on from the sidelines. You can check them out at hashtag #ladieslearningcode on twitter, and the same name on fb. Heather Payne can be reached @heatherpayne on twitter.
They are just the start of the many, many people I have encountered on twitter who are constantly planning for the future. @Vestiigo hosts a weekly twitter chat called #careersavvy which is always fascinating. @smcafeto (a group for learning more about social media) is having its second get together soon, which I can’t wait to attend. And even met some the people I know on twitter! More exist, I know, but it is still very encouraging to see this trend.
Other times people just pull us back. Bringing us into the past and a terrible yesterday. I dislike people like that. I dislike them a lot.
Mayor Rob Ford and his arrogant brother Doug were considered by some in Toronto as sad jokes. I am one of the many who did not approve of Rob Ford and would shake my head at his antics. Public drunkenness? Deny then sheepishly admit. Take cheap shots at fellow councillors? Apologize after awhile. Then Ford implausibly ascended to the Mayor’s office. It seems like the glory days of Mel Lastman, filling City Hall with inane foolishness, was back. Unfortunately.
Now my head shaking and bemusement are gone. His bigoted refusal to appear at Pride events, pandering to a hateful base, bothered me immensely. Why give validation to these nauseating lowlifes? That is exactly what his actions do and he knows this. Now, he and his brother want to close libraries. My guess the plan is to increase illiteracy? Ensure the population have no idea how to learn and enrich themselves? Not only is this idea horrible, but Doug’s juvenile attacks on CanLit icon Margaret Atwood are reprehensible. Memo to the Ford Brothers, Margaret Atwood will be remembered and treasured a century from now. You both will be forgotten. Thankfully.
Years from now, Mayor Ford and his ilk will be gone and the travesty of their reign will be just a bad memory. By that time people who teach and inspire us will be in the forefront. Innovators who help us learn and better ourselves. Real leaders. We as human beings need this. To become the better us.