Wednesday, September 28, 2016


I was stopped by a young man earlier today.  He was lost.  He was about 500 yards from the main road out of here and had obviously made a wrong turn and he was panicking.  “My GPS has packed up, and I need to find the road out of here.”
          I quietly put him right as he just needed a couple of turns and he would be fine.  Then I reflected while feeling smug that I didn’t need any GPS and in fact don’t even have it.  He was a “millennial” and had been around this technology for some time.  It was as familiar to him as maps are to me.  How could he be so ignorant and lost when all he needed was a map?
          When I first came out to Los Angeles I inherited a huge wall map of the area on my office wall.  Whenever I had a moment I would study this as I’ve always been obsessed with knowing where I am in the world.
          I soon bought a Thomas’s Guide for the car and was not afraid to use it.  It’s something I’ve always done.
          Going further back I remember the first time I had to drive up to the north of England to take up a new position.  I asked my father the best route – we only had one motorway at the time and that ran out after 90 miles.  He listed all the towns I needed to pass through – some of them even had by-passes.
          If one went further back in time, people would make their way by the use of the sun and the more sophisticated had a compass. Therefore was the lost young man any weaker in his life than me with my maps or those that came before?