Time really flies! Not so long ago it seemed time was on my side. The world was filled with possibilities and it didn’t matter which road I followed for time was on my side. Now, this is not the case! I have entered the “egg count years”.
It is time to decide on the road to follow when it comes to babies: to have or not to have them? If I didn’t regard this as my very own Shakespearean dilemma, I would toss a coin and all would be decided, finish and klaar!
I guess one thing is certain in this period I have entered: it is going to be interesting! For one, I get to have conversations with my elders about having babies without necessarily getting into the details of how they are made. I assure you, this can get very interesting especially if the elder is struggling with the balance between overt and subtle reference to the baby making process. Actually, I lie! It gets beyond interesting period! It gets humorous. And this, gentle-people, is what I hope will get me through the egg count years.
I may not know what lies ahead but I hope to keep my sense of humor and continue with my quest for the right partner. A guy defined by the word: balance. For example, he can be a male chauvinist to the outside world as long as he can play the yes/no dear routine at home without, of course, losing the passion to fight with me on important issues.
I can provide many more examples but its tick tick for me and need to move to the next task before my egg count gets to zero and I enter the living years (aka life in the 40s).
In the meantime, let me assure you, I shall make every effort to enjoy my egg count years. Yes, I have no idea what the outcome shall be, but I know mine will be a journey on a road that goes “over the Bridge of Sighs into Eternity” —Soren Kierkegaard
In academia, it is often stated that one must publish or perish but times have changed. We now live in an era of partner or perish. If this is not the case, then people like me who are all committed to the cause of open source are doomed. Doomed in a sense that we should be subscribing to the notion that sharing is key to levelling the playing fields and ensuring that all benefit. Therefore, if we believe this principle applies only for software, we need to be condemned!
Lets think about it. If we believe in the promise of open source, which translates to better quality, higher reliability, lower costs and freedom from any vendor. We should believe that these same rewards can be reaped in all areas of life if we work in partnership. If not that, we could contemplate why our parents and/or guardians made it their cause in life to instil in us that “sharing is caring”. I did contemplate the question myself and came up with a few interesting things. The first was conspiracy to rob me of my sweets. The second was that the dear old folks were locked in the dawn of the 70s. (A period of true social consciousness, and as I am told a time when good music was fashionable; a time in which the likes of John Lennon, Curtis Mayfield, Ottis Redding and Bob Marley through their music advocated for a united and peaceful world.)
After going through a few other “theories” of why sharing is possibly caring, I decided to trust in the wisdom embodied in clichés. I realised that I didn’t know any old adage or cliché that encourages one to do anything on their own. Therefore, putting emphasis on publish cannot possibly be acceptable. It should be all about partnering and publishing the best work that two or more minds can generate. Otherwise as academia we fail in our social responsibility to uphold good values. We fail also to appreciate why the business community has suddenly decided to value what they term strategic partnerships and therefore why there is much emphasis on creating synergies and thinking win-win.
For what it is worth, I honestly believe that de-emphasising publish would not result in fewer publications. I believe that by emphasising the need to partner we would in fact increase the publications output. Perhaps, I believe all this because I have been brain washed with old Sesotho sayings like “kopano ke matla”, “matsoho a hlatsoana”, “lets’oele le beta poho” ! (Translated: unity is power, hands wash each other, masses rein in a [raging] bull).