Twenty-five things (more or less) I’ve learned about life: #1

When I was very young, my brother, younger sister and I spent a great deal of time gathered on the floor to  listen to the huge console radio because no one had a television.  When we bought our first television, we had a choice between an eight-inch screen and a twelve-inch.  My mother feared the twelve-inch might be too large.   All programs were in black and white and we had only one channel.  Our favorite program was Kukla, Fran, and Ollie in which several hand puppets—Ollie was a dragon–chatted with Fran Allison.   Programming didn’t run all day.  At midnight or earlier, the National Anthem played after which a test pattern came on and stayed on the screen until programs started the next day.

My greatest disappointment  was the programming.  I’d thought when we turned on the television, our favorite radio shows would come on:  The Lone Ranger and Jack Armstrong, All-American Boy.  But they didn’t.  All we got was Fran Emerson and, as much as I loved them, Kukla, Fran and Ollie was no Sergeant Preston of the Yukon.

What did I learn?

Technology doesn’t do everything we think or hope it will.  As exciting as it is, technology does not always change the world for the better.   Texting, for example, has brought only the ability to communication with the person sitting next to you and causes automobile accidents.  Although cell phones take pictures and, with the proper apps, do lots of other stuff, we have not learned to communicate better and more deeply and meaningfully with each other.  Thanks to social media, we get instant reports on uprisings in Egypt and slaughters in the Syria, but has that instant access made response to emergencies faster?   We can talk to people on the other side of the world, but have we learned to live in peace with our neighbors—or those people on the other side of the world?

When we instantly hear that people are starving, do we respond more quickly?

Not that we can blame the lack of response to emergencies on technology.  After all, everything, every invention, has limitations and computers weren’t expected to take the place of caring for others.

But the limitations of technology only highlight the limitations of those of us who use it.  Technology is only a tool, an amusing toy that doesn’t replace a caring heart.

2 thoughts on “Twenty-five things (more or less) I’ve learned about life: #1

  1. Technology permitted those of us in KY or TX to watch Hurricane Sandy unfold in all its terror and horrific aftermath just as it permitted the youth in Egypt to throw off a hundred years of dictatorship and to watch a tiny Rover take pictures on Mars or Hubble to take photos of the beginnings of the universe. Technology is neutral. The human heart either glories in God’s universe we are shown and is motivated to send prayers and dollars to aid those in trouble or it is indifferent or worse seeks to make political gains from disasters. And technology will bring my beloved Cards to the basketball court tonight. Yeh.

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