So many today feel our generation is “Generation X.” We don’t stand for much. We don’t stand out for much. We just sip away on our Starbucks, watch some reality television, swipe that credit card to make another high-end designer purchase, and work those forty mediocre hours at the office. It seems we’ve lost the spirit of cause. We don’t stand for ideals. We don’t make any difference in the human condition. We don’t better anything. We just live for ourselves. Then we die.
How wrong those people are! How wrong their assumptions are! With the technology of today, goodwill, charity, love, and idealism seems to thrive. How could it not? We can be in touch with our loved ones thousands of miles away with just the click of a button. The Internet has brought humanity closer. Suddenly, Chicago-natives are weeping for the sorrows of Shanghai’s poorest. Bangladeshi girls are seeing they aren’t very different in style and dress and hobby from the girls in Finland. And politicians and diplomats are seeing the problems that exist in their countries exist in many other countries, as well. The Internet has brought us close and tightened our bonds. And a beautiful example of this is Pennsylvania State University student Ben Hardwick and Kenyan native Anthony Omari.
Ben Hardwick – also known as “The Lake” in the Reddit community -posted Omari’s story on Reddit. Omari runs the Faraja Orphanage in Ngong, Kenya. One year ago, his face was slashed at with a machete as he fought to defend himself and 35 of his children. He guarded the area at night with a hammer. One night, attackers came with a machete. He defended the children in his care. They slashed at his face. He was left wounded. The orphanage had no way to protect itself from intruders.
Hardwick, proposed to raise $2,000.00, posting Omari’s story on Reddit–that would be just enough money for cement and barbed wire. Omari would be able to use the money to build some sort of defense around the orphanage from outsiders. Hardwick had sorely underestimated how the Internet community would react to his request. Just after thirty-five hours, in place of $2,000.00, he’d actually raised $85,000.00! All of this was instantly wired to Ngong, Kenya. This past Sunday, one year after the fundraiser, Hardwick posted a picture of Omari looking healed and happy, proving that his quick wit and internet-savvy helped to change the world for the better.
Today, in the era of smart phones and lap tops and wireless connectivity, there doesn’t seem as much a perilous need to knock door to door asking for change, less a peril need to stand in front of a building, asking to collect change for charity, and no need to stand on a soap box and holler for attention. We’re much more tactful. We’re quieter, more subtle, more artful. We tap a few fingers on smart phone screens, or make some clicks on lap top track pads. And a few hours later, we’ve started a movement. We’ve made some change. With all this ease and convenience, and with all this closeness with the rest of humanity, how can we not–even by accident–fall into arms with our brothers and sisters? It’s inevitable we make change and rise up in arms for betterment. The Internet makes it impossible for us to sit back nonchalantly. The Internet makes it impossible for us not to take part in change. Don’t you think?