Thursday, June 15, 2006

"I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty."
John D. Rockefeller

Our possessions all too often posses us. Without a balanced perspective of what's really important in life we lean toward the things that give us instant pleasure, yet ask nothing in return. Owning the most up to date technology equates worth to so many people. It doesn't seem to matter much that a majority of owners remain mostly clueless about how to fully operate them. My cellphone isn't smart; my TV's mostly stupid too, but that's okay. I don't have any need for brighter toys. The computers already own enough of me, but in my defense I always struggle to ensure that any footprint I leave behind leads somewhere worth going.  

What's most popular is sought after in an never ending treasure hunt and the more expensive the better for some. Advertising and media lets us know what we need to own if we hope to be labeled elite. I'm more of a bargain hunter and get my pleasure from treasures found at a discount. I never marched with royalty... never wanted to be one of the, "in" crowd either... I just wanted to be real, whatever that meant at any given moment. Owning myself became my priority, so if I ever lose all my stuff I'll walk away as whole as I am today. Equating what you possess with what you're worth is dangerous.  If being held elite by possessions and unworthy without them makes perfect sense to you then I'd venture to guess you're possessed. But it's surely not a club I'd ever wish to join.   

The, "fast food" of the internet overfeeds our minds and mass produces gluttons with insatiable appetites that are impossible to satisfy. There's such a demand for information that the ones in charge of gathering it alter it to fit their own agendas. One source leans this way... one source leans that way, until we're surrounded by dozens of options for opinions about everything. A captive audience rarely gets straight talk. The world's at our fingertips, but the images are distorted and the voices all contradict each other. Some of us become so confused that following the loudest chants seems the thing to do. Following the most hysterical won't make the your world a saner place. Over-reaction is in fashion nowadays. And once again I fail to measure up... THANK GOD!!!

Our gadgets not only inform us, but they can also isolate us from real human contact. My cellphone is deep in my purse and not even turned on, unless we're on a trip or there's an away from home emergency. Because of my distance from any temptation I see countless examples of disconnect and discontent in every direction I look. I'm so clumsy by nature that if I had a device that I couldn't stand to look away from I'd break my neck the very first time I tried that zombie walk. And again I'm out of step with what's become the norm. I've never been truly normal, which once upon a time long, long ago made me fret a bit; now it makes me more than a little proud. Dare to be different and it's much harder to be critical of anyone else... it's also more difficult for the ones that want you to wear a certain costume or play an assigned role.

Technology blesses as well as curses. I thank God daily for the blessing it is to the housebound and unhealthy population who use it to stay connected to the world at large. People who've been made isolated by real life issues never have to be completely alone. Game rooms bring people together from all walks of life and all who enter are equal no matter their circumstance. The world shrinks and age or infirmity matter not at all. Support groups connect people with the same issues so that nobody has to feel alone during crisis. Fund me pages allow us to assist each other in times of trouble. They also allow us to invest in someone else's dreams or bring life to our own. The good is there along with all the rest. The internet is a powerful tool; uses vary and every user puts their own distinct spin on time spent there.   

It doesn't matter what anyone else's agenda is, if ours is right-minded. Balance is the key! If we dodge the sticky spots... avoid the less than honest... produce laughter... dry tears... research any hysterical ranting, before chanting along... spend some valuable time with the ones who hunger for human kindness... while giving the people who populate our life all the attention they deserve then you still own your device and your own life in equal measure.