Modern (post 20th century) technologies like the Internet, cable TV, and the phone can really be used to change the world. And as a lifelong educator, I mean this quite literally. I have witnessed firsthand, and on many occasions, the sheer power that a quality education wields for the betterment of a people. Through my Charter Spectrum Internet study sessions, I have been fortunate enough to discover how good healthcare services can significantly reduce mortality rates within different communities. And I have been forced to marvel at the awesome potential of spirituality-training for stoking people’s compassion.
Throughout my professional career, I have taken great pains to advise people not to take these issues lightly. And in this blog post, I’ll discuss each of these subjects briefly – with a particular emphasis on how new-age tech. can be used to promote their influence. In this sense, this account is more like a personal narrative than an informational piece. It represents a little portion of my soul – and hints at what continues to stir it.
Using the Internet to Promote Education and Critical Thinking
One of my high school professors once told me that the whole purpose of quality education is to inculcate students with critical thinking skills. There is simply no point in rote learning, memorization, and textbook reproduction. My mentor referred to these traditional modes of school learning as ‘chewing on some rotten food, and then storing the vomit’! Strong words, but they hold much truth within them. In today’s world, we have all kinds of pocket recording devices at our disposal, and these can perform such tasks much better!
Education, at its very core, is not meant to teach people what to think, but how to think. And in between this distinction lies all the difference that a solid learning program can make in the life of a pupil. In the former case, ‘education’ is nothing more than mere propaganda. It is someone’s clever agenda masquerading around as ‘knowledge’. And it needs to be resisted strongly by anyone in possession of a thinking head, and some concern for the future.
But if this education is geared towards serving the latter cause (i.e. encourage critical reasoning), then it needs to be sincerely supported. And it is spreading for this type of ‘non-institution bound’ learning that the internet comes in most handy.
Connecting with Underprivileged Children at the Grassroots Level
Think about it.
The internet, either through wired or wireless networks, has managed to penetrate the most remote corners of the world. And in doing so, it has brought the culture and mindset of the most developed nations to the poorest.
On an individual level, it has enabled me to connect with underprivileged children from the obscurest regions of South Asia. And once linked through voice or video conferencing, it has allowed me to train them in all sorts of thinking methodologies. With the result that over 20 of them, today, are now sharing their learning with their own students. And improving the collective psychological state of their immediate communities – with one revolutionizing lesson at a time!
In the past, people like myself – who thirsted passionately to spread the flame of education all over the globe – had to rely on the government. Due to a lack of funds and transportation facilities, we were simply unable to get in touch with people wanting to benefit from our services. But this issue is now a thing of the past. And today, there is really no excuse for someone privileged with a collegiate degree (or more) to not help his or her fellow man.
Promoting Healing through Mobile Hospitals
In the past two decades, mobile dispensaries have largely been replaced by fully-operational mobile hospitals. And I know of many well-meaning physicians who have fully taken to them to promote some healing in a heavily fractured world. A recent WHO survey conducted in South Sudan estimated that over 5 million people had been saved from malaria through the intervention of these treatment units.
Interestingly, there are some public think tanks in the U.S that actually envision a ‘Mobile Clinic’ future. One in which even the most invasive surgical procedures will be conducted on-the-go.
Fanning the Flames of Spirituality through ‘Televangelism’
Nowadays, televangelists (television preachers) are all the rage in global spirituality circles. And even though I’m not a theist, I still strongly support their digital missionary activities. This is due in large part to their proven ability to rid people of their chronic sadness and anxiety. And without any demanding any payment.
Recently, I was invited to attend a Spectrum service area seminar being hosted in a Philadelphia village. Although the event was based on the business exploits of several American ISPs, the proceedings were not altogether too secular. Because the main speaker, interestingly enough, began his speech with a short prayer. And to satisfy the curiosity of his skeptical audience, he explained how it helped him to get over his paralyzing stage fright