Global Positioning System (GPS) provides positioning, navigation and timing services so that we can, for the most part, drive without actually knowing the directions to anywhere we want. We plug the address into our devices and, within seconds, we have the entire route pop up along with a voice that can tell you when and where to turn and your expected arrival time.

Now, this is great as long as there is no new construction or detours which have not had time to sync with the satellite. When there is a distraction, you must make a decision as you hear the voice begin to say “re-routing” or “make a U-turn at the next light.” You can either do as you are told or navigate on your own. This delay affects arrival time and, often times, it affects your temperament.

If you have factored into your departure that something may happen to cause a delay in your arrival, you are less likely to be irritated, but if you have left late, you now realize you are going to arrive late. That’s life.

Today our worldwide GPS has had to re-route. As we see the government, medical and school systems do their best to reach their normal destinations of good jobs, benefits and promotions from school, our families and our relationships are so heavily impacted that a U-turn is mandatory. Our final destinations and our arrival times will not be the same. Our children are watching as we navigate, and they feel what we don’t say as parents and as a society. They may not have the actual words to be able to articulate these imprints but they know something is different.

The GPS that we have relied on so heavily still works; however, we have to drive cautiously, looking and scanning what is in front of us and what is to the left and right of us to determine our location. As long as there is gas in the car and energy in our spirit, we can continue to drive, even with obstacles that block our path. 

As each of us grapples with a future unlike any other, I pray that we keep first things first and understand that we have to treat each other right. We have to know that all of our children need to rise if we are ALL as a country to rise.

There are going to be delays in the education of our children and in their mental health, so what are we as their caretakers gonna do about it? Are we gonna push them to play catch up in a system that can’t even make the simplest decisions about who won the election, and should all children have access to broadband? Or are we going to re-enter a different address for our final destination, understanding that we will get there together and make all the necessary turns to enable our children to get there too?

• Yolande Barial is a Tracy resident and mother. Her column appears monthly in the Tracy Press. Comments can be sent to tpletters@tracypress.com.

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