It’s a small world after all!

Today, I was viewed in Nepal for the first time.  It’s the 84th country or autonomous region to view my blog.  True, 60 of those don’t have views in double digits.  But, as I reflect upon how the world has changed even in my lifetime, is quite extraordinary.

The year I was born, Marilyn Monroe was still making movies, Ike was still leading us through WWII recovery, and a trip to the moon was still ten years away.  The only one with a cell phone was Dick Tracy, and even Start Trek hadn’t broached the sci-fi concepts of space travel and video phones.

Back then, I heard stories of exotic places.  I heard about the starving kids in China.  And I heard some stories of missionaries traveling into the jungles of Africa, where they would be isolated from home and rely only upon trips to the big cities of Africa to mail items that would take weeks to cross the ocean.

Back then, only the Chinese could go to Tibet.   Places like Nepal were high and isolated.  With great difficulty and a lot of money, one could get there.  Languages were not well-known to many people, and the whole idea of learning such a language was reserved for the lifers whose whole scholarly endeavor was the crack the language.  Again, if you had money, lots of it, you could go there and learn first-hand from such scholars.  Otherwise, you’d be lucky to know that such places even existed, much less know anyone from there.

Today, I have had views from dozens of such places.  That means that someone in each place has an internet connection.  From now on, if I want to go visit a place and talk to someone there, I only need to jump on my computer.  I can learn about the history, the culture, and the geography with a few taps of my fingers.  Google earth can pinpoint it for me and zoom in with great detail.

As we become a global community, I hope that it helps all people realize their sameness.  At the same time, I hope that it allows us to share our wealth with the world.  But I am concerned that we are more likely to share our poverty.  Evil does not wish to have the light shed on it.  Therefore, we have developed political correctness.  PC is not really about not offending people.  It’s really about silencing critics of evil in other cultures as the light of day is focused on them.  Tolerance of evil is perceived as tolerance of culture.  But the two are not equivalent.  I may enjoy the colorful costumes and customs of a country and yet not agree with its practices of genocide, or infanticide and their rituals of female circumcision.  I may honor the political structure of a country without condoning its misuse for tyranny.  It’s OK to be different, but it’s not OK to be evil.

The internet is a place full of evil: pornography, gambling, cults and hate clubs.  But it is also the place where the truth can quickly spread.  Like dynamite, it can be used constructively or destructively.  All of us who have means and motive to make a better world must rejoice over this awesome tool that shrinks our back yard and makes us all neighbors.  Let’s show love to all of our neighbors, far and near.  Share the love.


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Filed under On Family, Health, Environment and Ethics, Open Mind

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