16 April 2012
Knowledge as Fertilizer
Ok, so the metaphor isn't a stretch--knowledge as fertilizer--but here's why it's important. Today, my 2006 MacBook Pro died. It was on it's second battery, which couldn't hold a charge. It was maxed out at 2 gig of RAM. It would no longer accept operating system updates. The repair shop said the motherboard gave out, like a little computer stroke. My data is backed up on an external hard drive, but that doesn't put money in the bank to fix or replace the computer. For this reason, I write tonight with my thumbs on my phone. I write because I'm lucky to have this smart phone when some people don't even have that level of access to the internet. How many of us take for granted the daily, if not minute-by-minute, access we have to information? For how many of us does it become a near-crisis to have to go without the internet, our emails, and everything else we store in our digital worlds? Even when I tried to think of ways to make extra money to invest in a new computer, almost every idea required some access to the internet or software on my laptop. Imagine if your only computer access was though a library. (If that's you reading now, thanks!) How hard would it be, especially if you work full time, to research job openings, or research how to start a business, or learn about community programs to help you in any facet of life? In fact, the library, television, and newspapers would become some of your only ties to the world outside of your own, which in some areas are extremely limited. Not everyone can afford to bring the world wide web into their homes, so imagine how beneficial it would be to bring a world of opportunity via business classes into neighborhoods? Access to computers and training grows access to better jobs and inspiration to create and thrive. If you think people can rely on their phones for web access, I'm writing tonight to tell you, that just isn't good enough. I'm not saying it can't be done; I'm saying, if we want to begin to heal the drought of poverty, we must bring the fertilizer, the water, and the topsoil. The seeds are ready to grow if we are willing to till the soil.