Exploring Atlanta: December 2022
When I get older, losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a Valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine
If I'd been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four
The Beatles (1967)
"When I'm Sixty-Four” was written by Paul McCartney and released on the Beatles’ 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. McCartney wrote the song when he was about 14, (probably in April or May 1956) and it was one of the first songs he ever wrote. The song was recorded in a key different from the final recording; it was sped up at the request of McCartney to make his voice sound younger. It prominently features a trio of clarinets (two regular clarinets and one bass clarinet) throughout. Source: Wikipedia
In this episode…
PAST: Antebellum Atlanta
PRESENT: Picture Imperfect
FUTURE: Riding the Age Wave
Wall Street Meets Main Street (link at bottom)
PAST > Antebellum Atlanta (Sherpa Cafe #2)
As part of the Department of the Interior's strategy to promote public awareness of history and encourage tourists to visit historic places throughout the nation, the National Register of Historic Places worked with communities, regions, and Heritage Areas throughout the United States to create online travel itineraries. Using places nominated by State, Federal and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the itineraries help potential visitors plan their next trip by highlighting the amazing diversity of this country's historic places and supplying accessibility information for each featured site. Atlanta was the 25th National Register travel itinerary created through such partnerships.
This resource includes four “essays” which were included to provide historical context for the places included in the itinerary. They are Antebellum Atlanta, Industrial Atlanta, the African American Experience, and Growth and Preservation. The itinerary also includes 70 specific sites (buildings, districts, etc.) that are of cultural and historical significance. We’ll start with the four essays and then move on to the specific sites.
Images & Links
I created the custom images below for this episode of the Sherpa Café. They consist of photos I have taken over the years, as well as photos and maps curated over time. My hope is that they will make the content more interesting and allow you to connect with Atlanta’s past, present and future.
Finally, I have included some links under “Explore More” at the bottom of this post. I think you will find those interesting, so please spend some time with those.
Essay I: Antebellum Atlanta
Antebellum (adj.) from Latin phrase ante bellum, literally "before the war." In the United States, usually in reference to the American Civil War (1861-65); attested in that specific sense by 1862 (it appears in a June 14 entry in Mary Chesnut's diary).
PRESENT > Picture Imperfect
“It’s not what we don’t know that can hurt us, it’s what we know that just ain’t so.”
— Satchel Paige
Worldviews: Our “Pictures” of the World
A worldview is a collection of attitudes, values, stories and expectations about the world around us, which inform our every thought and action. Worldview is expressed in ethics, religion, philosophy, scientific beliefs and so on. A worldview is how a culture works out in individual practice.
When you encounter a situation and think ‘That’s just wrong’, your worldview is active. We have a natural tendency to think that what we believe is normal: his views are backward and superstitious; your views are a result of how you were brought up; my views are rational, balanced and true.
We are largely unaware of the wheels moving on our car until there is an abnormal noise; similarly, we become aware of worldviews and their corresponding values only when there is a clash or crisis. Now that people of different faiths can travel easily around the globe and live in culturally mixed communities, there are increasing opportunities for such clashes. Worldviews are complex. People brought up in two different cultures can hold two competing sets of values and code-shift between the two, depending on context.
It is much easier to recognize cultural influences at work when they are at a geographical or temporal distance. We can see the influence of culture on the diagnosis of drapetomania — a ‘condition’ found in the 1850s which led to running away in slaves — and of susto — ‘soul loss’, currently found in some South American cultures. But do we readily recognize the culture-laden nature of sex addiction, road rage and burnout, or anorexia nervosa, premenstrual syndrome and self-harm? A similar process occurs in considering worldviews; more exotic worldviews are more easily recognized as having an impact on values and choices.
Worldviews are absorbed from the culture which surrounds us, our earliest human interactions, the stories and nursery rhymes we are told, the teaching of our parents.
We don’t know what we don’t know…
Circles of Familiarity — we all have them; the further out we go from our bedrooms, the less familiar we are with people, things, etc. that we encounter or hear about
Acknowledging that the body of knowledge that is unknown to us is vast, is the first step
Exploring is the anecdote — you have to make an effort; challenge your assumptions
Relative Realities — we all live in them
Biases — we all have them
Tip of the iceberg?
Take the wealth gap, for example. The gap we “see” (income, neighborhood, car, etc.) is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s really the end result of several lifetimes (generations) of socio-economic differences. Consider a child (white or black) who grows up in a family of means vs one who grows up in poverty.
Their environment; inside (home) and outside (neighborhood). Driving around every day.
Love and attention / nurturing (or lack thereof) the child receives throughout his/her lifetime, but especially in their formative years
Influence of family members, role models
Childhood experiences (sports, travel, museums, restaurants, toys, scouting, social impact work)
What shapes their definition of success? (business, relationships, financial)
Education (quality of teachers / facilities, fellow students, study abroad)
So, the “gap” is much more than just a financial gap or even an educational gap. It’s a lifetime of observations, interactions, influences, experiences that shape our world views. Ultimately, these inform our decisions and manifest themselves in our behavior. They affect our ability to live (behave) within a societal construct.
Childhood Trauma: Mother of All Root Causes?
Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on.
The older you get, the more perspective you gain because you have seen more change — both in the business world but also in the society. You begin to understand (view) the world around you differently, especially people.
FUTURE: Riding the Age Wave
The U.S. Joins Other Countries With Large Aging Populations…
Already, the middle-aged outnumber children, but the country will reach a new milestone in 2034 (previously 2035). That year, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that older adults will edge out children in population size: People age 65 and over are expected to number 77.0 million (previously 78.0 million), while children under age 18 will number 76.5 million (previously 76.7 million). Source: U.S. Census Bureau
A natural conclusion would be that increasing alone time has negative impacts on people, however, being alone does not necessarily equate to loneliness. Our World in Data found that there was no direct correlation between living alone and reported feelings of loneliness.
One final consideration is the role technology plays in our social interactions. Thanks to smartphones and social platforms, time alone doesn’t necessarily equal isolation.
It is not just the amount of time spent with others, but the quality and expectations, that reduce loneliness. Source: Visual Capitalist