Thoughts on Connection
As we grow from small to less small our perspective’s begin to shift, and the colors of the world around us take on a new meaning. The ache of growing pains, brings a realization that the world is a far bigger- tougher place than the confines of our playskool kitchenettes.
There is an invisible line drawn out in the sand beneath our feet. Our innocence precariously rests on one side of this line, beckoning us to remain in this free state. The other side, holds the power of understanding and urges us forward.
At times, I desperately wish that line could be erased and rearranged to allow more time to simply be small… because there are a lot of gut-wrenching things on the other side of innocence.
A world full of bombs and guns and wars and big words like genocide.
Full of politicians pushing their agenda and a whole lot of people telling you what you should believe.
Full of extreme wealth and extreme poverty and a whole lot of in between.
These things are not new, we are just more aware of them that we use to be. Because now we do not have to go very far to find information.
We are a generation who has been exposed to connection overload, which is not as bad as it sounds.
Connectivity is a two-sided coin.
We see the negative sides of it everyday; fear-mongering and disinformation.
But how often do we acknowledge the beauty in it.
Because of this tool, we all have voices. Some voices are small (and just as important) and some are not, but each of us, that resides in a country with the river of information pulsing at its fingertips and that is free from censorship, is able to share anything they choose.
Side one of this coin, pushes some into the recesses of reclusiveness, hiding behind screens and unable to connect in the physical world.
For others, it draws us closer to one another. We are no longer limited to the companionship of those residing in the same postal code as us. We can virtually connect with friends and family on the other-side of the globe.
I can attribute so much of my time spent abroad to this vital linkage.
Even my trip to Nepal was made possible through my best mate Gab, who I met through Social Media three years ago.
Gab joined Simon, whom he also met through social media three years ago, in a quest to bring this magic, that we consider a normal part of our lives, to remote schools in Nepal.
Their mission is simple in concept; to bring internet to places that have been long left unreached by technology. The impact, however, is far from simple. It has the power to be profoundly life changing, not only for the students, but for their teachers as well.
The argument has been made, by those in our technologically overwrought generation, that we are better off without internet and that real development happens away from screens.
There is an element of this that I agree with so deeply, but I also remember the gift that internet was when it was introduced to my language divided first grade classroom.
For many of my peers, access to the english language was nearly impossible. They went home to parents who could not speak english and came into classrooms to learn, only to be taught by teachers who did not speak spanish. Theses large screened beings had the power to teach english, math and geography to each of us. And it allowed us all to advance together, but at our own pace.
Connection really is a beautiful thing, it just all depends on the hands that it is placed in. This is a risk that should always be taken, because without it these words would just be floating through my mind with no place to stick and with no audience.
To find out more about Simon and Gab’s mission click here