Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year...Really??...Is it possible?

Happy New Year...Really??...Is it possible?

Over the last several days I have spent some time browsing over several of my favorite blogs, reading through my news feed on Facebook, and listening to News gurus offering up their opinions on the past year and the challenges of the new. The one common thread seems to be a message of gloom. “Hope this next year is better than the last”...I hope it goes by as fast as the last year....too painfull”, and my favorite, “It can’t get any worse”.  
Being a student and practitioner in the field of International Relations, my whole existence is looking at the world from various perspectives. Whether it be economic, cultural, or from a security viewpoint, I have to be able to stand in the other guys shoes to develop an honest opinion of world conditions.
Second life has been a great tool for being able to develop friendships with people from all around the world. I have discussions about cultural, economic, and political topics. It’s a great way to broaden ones perspective and develop viewpoints that are not limited to the myopic vision we all seen to have when looking at the world from our small corner of it.
My profession deals with creating a historical and intellectual framework with which we use to measure and determine the future direction of our global society.  We have to recognise that because of tools like the Internet,  Facebook, Second Life and many other networking options, that we can now expose ourselves to many, many new and different ideas. We can exchange ideas with mothers from Poland, a student at Cairo university, a shop owner in Singapore, and a kid living in the suburbs of Miami. What we can do here is a powerful.
For the first time is history, we don’t have to depend upon a National Geographic, or an authors’ perspective on the rest of the world. We are not limited to a newscasters prejudice, or a producers hidden agenda. We can each individually “go direct to the source” and learn for ourselves. I want to know what the Arab student in Cairo thinks about the US military and the future of the Middle East, I want to hear from a single mother in Poland and feel her concerns for her children, I want to listen to the concerns of a gay kid living in Miami who feels abandoned by his parents, ostracised, and alone, and I want to listen to the fundamentalist christian in Wisconsin who’s convinced the world is full of evil. And hopefully, soon, we will be able to chat with a mother or student in the middle of China, Iran, or North Korea.
What I’m saying is that we, those of us that “play” in this world of the net, are at the cutting edge of a global cultural revolution. We have the opportunity to develop relationships with people from all over the world and broaden our understanding of each other like never before in the history of man.
No  longer are our views of the world colored by the lenses of governments, religious belief, cultural limitations, distance, or wealth. People from all around the world have the opportunity to learn from one another, experience each other, and understand each other.
If you honestly think that last year was all that bad, try having a conversation with someone from Haiti, Sudan, or from Afghanistan. Things might look a little better.
The one huge truth that we all share globally, is that our world is getting smaller. As people experience each other in our Second Life, or any other social networking activity, we are getting closer, more understanding, and tolerant of each other. Try not limiting your activity in Second Life to the bars, malls, and bedrooms and leap into some of the other culturally diverse opportunities that OUR world offers.  Develop friendships with people you normally wouldn’t meet in your real life, and share with them ideas, goals, dreams, and convictions. Be willing to experience new things (at least once), and maybe you will be able to understand why that other person feels the way he/she does.
So when you hear someone lament of what a crappy year 2010 has been or is complaining about the state of the year that has just begun....be proud that you are part of a worldwide revolution of communication and understanding. Through your “ears and lips” you are changing the world.

Happy New Year....Happy New World
Doc Spad

1 comment:

mmlp said...

Here Here Bro! Seems lately that complaining has become a habit with many. i love becoming one with this dusty world, i love learning what i do not know. Great New Year to you, it just keeps getting better, trust me. xoxo