Friday, June 29, 2012

The Laptop Generation

My lap top is a chunk of metal. I'll agree that It is sleek looking, but size wise it is very unimpressive. I mean it's about .75 inches thick I'd guess. and about the size of one of my high school folders. It is merely a few pounds of metal and some circuitry. 

Well, that is all it is if you don't understand its usefulness,  and potential, but then it becomes something remarkable.

With this laptop I am able to spill my random thoughts into this text file while the computer autoformats the document and autocorrects my errors in real time as I type. 

I realize that this is virtually the simplest task I can ask my laptop to do. But even being able to complete this simple task is amazing.
Add the fact that this laptop is capable of performing tasks millions and millions of times more complex than typing a text document  and it boggles the mind. 

Oh did I mention that I'm doing all this from about 38,000 ft above the Pacific Ocean? I'm aboard United Airways flight 1548 from LAX to Honolulu. I'd guess we are traveling about 500 miles per hour.

It's such a part of our daily lives these days it is easy to take technological leaps for granted. 

But I am a member of the last generation of people that had a childhood where there were no home computers , no internet, and no cell phones. Every so often I just sit and marvel at the devices I am carrying in my pocket or in my back pack and their capabilities. It is awesome (in the actual sense of the word).

As I geek out about gadgetry, I think about how these advances apply to my life and to everyone's life.

This computer is the product of human creativity and innovation. But it is also a metaphor for it.

If I apply this metaphor introspectively, I begin thinking of the time I was just starting to play guitar . At that moment I was akin to this laptop if it were powered off, closed and coldly sitting there. I was probably not very impressive. I mean there were 5-6 guitar playing kids on my block. I'd imagine there were millions and millions of 12-13 year old boys in the world that loved playing guitar.

But here I sit 22-23 years later. I am being flown around the world to perform for most honorable group of people I can imagine (the US Military), then immediately following that I am being flown to Belgium to play for masses of European music lovers. I can't say these are dreams come true because they are light years beyond any thing I even knew how to dream.
Being as I was that little guitar playing 12-13 year old boy, I am again mind boggled. Thoroughly mind boggled

The little 12 year old Eric was the powered down laptop. I could never serve my true function as a professional musician until my potential was understood (by me and by the loving people around me in my family and community). 

Being non introspective now, I believe that all children are like the powered down laptop.  

Their initial skill set may be small but that isn't what should be measured. It is their potential.

I realize that that's a large vague statement but what I mean is :

The world will be greater place if the next generation has their potential cultivated.

This cultivation is definitely not an easy task. It will take diligence to seek out this potential and perseverance to give it the path to succeed.

But just like this laptop, this generation of children has the ability to heal the earth, better civilization and prepare for a brighter future. But they can only do so if their potential is understood.

These children aren't just kids. These kids are mechanics, and dancers, and playwrights , and doctors, and people that build even smaller laptops that make even more incredible things possible.

But they will grow into .....plain old adults without our help and guidance.

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