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Watch: It took Barack Obama to explain why the American controversy over the national anthem matters

‘Our test of our fidelity to freedom of expression is not when it’s easy but when it’s hard.’

US President Donald Trump faced a barrage of criticism after he said that NFL players should be fired after disrespecting the national anthem. Basketball star LeBron James’s tweeted calling Trump a “bum”, and many players “took a knee” during the rendition of the national anthem before games.

Not surprisingly, though, the most nuanced commentary came from former US President Barack Obama. In a video aired on CNN, Obama was asked by an officer of the US Army how he felt about NFL players refusing to stand during the national anthem.

“A part of what makes this country special is that we respect people’s rights to have a different opinion, and make different decisions about how they want to express their concerns,” Obama said.

He reminded everyone that the “test of our fidelity to our Constitution, to freedom of speech, to our Bill of Rights, is not when it’s easy but when it’s hard.” He reminded people that freedom in a democracy can sometimes mean that people disagree, but that is the point of a democracy.

Obama also acknowledged that any act of political dissent is “under the blanket of protection of our men and women in uniform and the appreciation of their sacrifice is never lost.”

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Bringing your parents into the digital fold can be a rewarding experience

Contrary to popular sentiment, being the tech support for your parents might be a great use of your time and theirs.

If you look up ‘Parents vs technology’, you’ll be showered with a barrage of hilariously adorable and relatable memes. Half the hilarity of these memes sprouts from their familiarity as most of us have found ourselves in similar troubleshooting situations. Helping a parent understand and operate technology can be trying. However, as you sit, exasperated, deleting the gazillion empty folders that your mum has accidentally made, you might be losing out on an opportunity to enrich her life.

After the advent of technology in our everyday personal and work lives, parents have tried to embrace the brand-new ways to work and communicate with a bit of help from us, the digital natives. And while they successfully send Whatsapp messages and make video calls, a tremendous amount of unfulfilled potential has fallen through the presumptuous gap that lies between their ambition and our understanding of their technological needs.

When Priyanka Gothi’s mother retired after 35 years of being a teacher, Priyanka decided to create a first of its kind marketplace that would leverage the experience and potential of retirees by providing them with flexible job opportunities. Her Hong Kong based novel venture, Retired, Not Out is reimagining retirement by creating a channel through which the senior generation can continue to contribute to the society.

Our belief is that tech is highly learnable. And learning doesn’t stop when you graduate from school. That is why we have designed specific programmes for seniors to embrace technology to aid their personal and professional goals.

— Priyanka Gothi, Founder & CEO, Retired Not Out

Ideas like Retired Not Out promote inclusiveness and help instil confidence in a generation that has not grown up with technology. A positive change in our parent’s lives can be created if we flip the perspective on the time spent helping them operate a laptop and view it as an exercise in empowerment. For instance, by becoming proficient in Microsoft Excel, a senior with 25 years of experience in finance, could continue to work part time as a Finance Manager. Similarly, parents can run consultation blogs or augment their hobbies and continue to lead a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Advocating the same message, Lenovo’s new web-film captures the void that retirement creates in a person’s life, one that can be filled by, as Lenovo puts it, gifting them a future.

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Depending on the role technology plays, it can either leave the senior generation behind or it can enable them to lead an ambitious and productive life. This festive season, give this a thought as you spend time with family.

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This article was produced on behalf of Lenovo by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.