Thursday, June 15, 2017
When I peruse the Internet, it is to me very much like taking a tour around the world and getting to meet some of the smartest people on the planet, and it makes me count my blessings. As much as the Internet is criticized for being invasive, a time waster, a tool that keeps us from being face to face with others, like any new tool/toy/distraction/technology there are both good sides and bad sides to its existence and we are the deciders for how we use it.
As a child growing up I remember reading how television reduced families from talking to each other and introduced outside influences that interfered with parental ideals. Television was going to dissolve family life as we knew it--- the same television that let us see John Glenn on the moon, and saved me in grad school with Laugh In, and these days bringing many exotic and brave and energetic people into my home as my world grows smaller with age. There were conservative and religious families in my small town that carefully limited their family viewing time and devoted the rest of their evenings to reading the Bible, singing songs, or playing board games. My parents were not religious and I guess they did not fear we would be changed by the outside world anymore through television than we would through growing up and facing those life changing questions on our own. The TV was on perhaps more than off in the evenings (all of us worked hard in the summer at jobs to save for college), but my two brothers and my two sisters (one who passed from cancer many years ago) and I grew up to be contributing members of society, with stable marriages honed by acceptance and compromise, and while sometimes divided by politics, still keeping a good sense of humor most of the time. The mistakes we made in life were from the culture of our communities as much as the culture of television.
I feel the same about the Internet in that you can dwell on the angry, vitriolic, scary, amazing news or you can go to the slow and in-depth studies on the issues and the sharing of ideas and memories of amazing writers/journalists and begin to understand why you may feel the way you do and ways you can change or adapt to those ideas.
I have been reading articles from a site named "The World Economic Forum" and recently read an article written by Paolo Gallo, Chief Human Resources Officer, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum, Geneva. He wrote an article about his father teaching him about growing up and suggested three questions to ask yourself at the end of the day to help you live a purposeful life. This works while you are young and also if you think have just a few short years in the future. It works for me. These questions are:
1. Have you learned something new?
2. Are you helping others?
3. Do you love what you are doing?
The full article is here.