May in the Lowcountry is heaven — warm and green, with nature in full bloom. It brings out the best in us on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton as we head outside to enjoy this beautiful time of year through festivals, bike rides and walks on the beach.
A NEW PARADIGM SHIFT IS ABOUT TO ERODE THE LAST BASTIONS OF PRIVACY AND FUNDAMENTALLY RE-MAP OUR IDEA OF WHO WE ARE AS HUMANS.
George Orwell’s novel “1984” envisioned a totalitarian system that controlled people’s minds—a terrifying proposition when I read the book as a high school graduate, but it pales compared to what might be possible in the near future.
Editor’s note: This column is excerpted and reprinted with permission from Aeon.co. Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan world view. Read the full article HERE.
A paradox plays a pivotal role in our advanced hyper-connected democracies: The greater the amount of information that circulates, the more we rely on so-called reputational devices to evaluate it. Increased access to information and knowledge does not empower us or make us more cognitively autonomous. Rather, we become dependent on other people’s judgments and evaluations.
Everywhere you look, the Lowcountry is celebrating the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. “Cheers for 50 years!” is the toast of the town. The Heritage is one of the oldest PGA Tour tournaments to be played continuously on the same course, and top golfers say Hilton Head Island is the most fun and fan-friendly stop on the schedule.
It stands to reason that if a nation spends twice as much on health care as a percentage of GDP compared with other developed nations, that care would be twice as good. But that is simply not the case. Despite our health care spending, we Americans are not rewarded by higher life expectancy, which might be the most meaningful way to measure health-related costs versus rewards.
Ah, spring! Arguably the most beautiful month in the Lowcountry, spring has come just in time to rescue us from the coldest winter many of us have ever seen on Hilton Head Island. Azaleas and daffodils are blooming and the days are getting longer. The warm sunshine makes us hopeful — and why shouldn’t we be? We live in a beautiful place where the most popular local hobby is helping others. In this issue, we celebrate some of the powerful, kind and diverse women who make Hilton Head and Bluffton great places to live. In the pages of our People section, we focus on leaders from the nonprofit sector and public education. Business leaders and others answer questions about their lives and careers in our Leading Ladies special section.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there of; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
– The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
Once an easily dismissed phrase, fake news is now embedded in our public discourse. It is a political weapon whose repetitive use chips away at a foundation stone of our democracy – a free and independent press.
It’s February and love is in the air. Did you know that 40 percent of engagements happen between Christmas and Valentine’s Day? In honor of this romantic time, we look at love in its many forms. Lasting love is celebrated in two profiles of local couples who have been married for more than 30 years. Finding love by way of dating websites and apps is increasingly popular, so we’ve included two perspectives on love in the digital age. We also bring you the humorous side of first dates, some of which became first steps on a path to marriage.
Hilton Head Island and Bluffton started as small towns and the “weak mayor” system seemed sufficient. Since then, however, both have experienced major growth and a “strong mayor” system might serve us better.
There are challenges and advantages with each system. Let’s focus on the council-manager system in place across the Lowcountry. The biggest advantage is the lack of partisanship, which should not be undervalued. The professional town manager can make decisions without the political calculation of elected officials. But this benefit often comes at the cost of dynamic leadership with the “mayor effectively reduced…to the role of cheerleader and external promoter of his city’s image and interests.” It is hard to tell who is in charge when an unelected manager has more power than the elected mayor.
Some years drag on, while others are gone in the blink of an eye.
It seems like only yesterday that we made the decision to devote our January issue to telling the fascinating stories behind each familiar face in our annual Intriguing People of the Lowcountry issue. In fact, this installment marks the 21st edition of that feature.
I venture to say the Lowcountry would rank very high nationally if measured by its citizens’ giving per capita. In addition to writing large and small checks, many people in our region donate countless hours of volunteer time to raise money, organize events, direct aid, build homes and provide other services to those in need. Then there are the countless in-kind donations from local businesses and the never-ending coverage by local media of the area’s thriving nonprofit community.
With bellies still full from Thanksgiving we enter the last month of the year. December was always a special month growing up. Counting down the days to Christmas, lighting candles at night, and the smell from baking cookies are all part of the memories we cherish most.
As we grew older the joy of giving became more important than receiving and eventually the most important part about the holidays turn out to be spending time with family.
LETS MAKE SOME TIME FOR TIME.
Imagine, if you will, that you are reaching the end of the road. It’s time to prepare to say farewell to your life on this planet. If someone asked what you would change if you could do it all over again, what would your answer be? In all likelihood, you wouldn’t wish you had bought a bigger house, added one more car to your collection, or anything like that. Most people probably would answer, “I wished I found more time to talk to my children, spent more fun nights with my friends, took one more trip to Italy, read the book I bought a few years back.” In other words: We’d all want more time. Time to discover ourselves, time to discover new places, or time to simply cherish the people who we appreciate.
HILTON HEAD ISLANDER ACTS, DIRECTS AND SINGS IN MANY LOCATIONS
Lili Torre was still texting “here” when I spotted her sitting on the wide steps of Union Square. She leapt up and smiled with the same bright eyes I’d known since our Hilton Head Island High School days, when she sang and I played drums in our school’s production of “Les Miserables.” She moved to New York just over five years ago to chase a career in musical theater, and that’s how we found ourselves on a bench in a city most people only visit.