21st century technology

“Because we’re living in a material world and I am a material girl” – Madonna That’s right, a material world. It’s all about the material goods: the fabrics, the plastics, the jewelry, and the appliances. A material world. Maybe that is why essentials have been left out of homes. As I walked on a narrow path between homes, I could hear the televised voice of an Indian newscaster or actor. I heard the hum of PC’s and saw the illumination on a man’s face caused by the artificial glow of a computer screen. What is going on? All my life, I believed that if a person was poor, they did not have access to technology, that they were disconnected from a certain world. That’s how it is at Andover. There are PC’s then there are Macs, there are shiny new textbooks and then there are the used, slightly worn Text Exchange textbooks.  But walking through Dharavi, I see the heavy machinery, the hanging electrical wires, and the newspapers. I hear the digitized music from a boombox. From the view on the rooftops, the steeples of a green and white mosque erupted from sea of blue tarped roofs. There is culture, there is news, and there is industry and business making overpopulated heart-shaped Dharavi literally the heart of Mumbai.

What does this mean?

It’s a reminder.

A reminder, that despite the immense differences in social, academic, and economic situations that we’re all living at the same time in the same world.

But the most striking realization of this observation is the priorities of people [or a country/government]. Owning a cell phone or satellite television is easier than accessing clean, drinkable water. It made me think of my own priorities. What do I place over certain things?

Conversation. More than anything, I know the value of human connection. I know of the understanding through the eyes and the respect from a genuine smile. I prioritize listening and talking above many things.

And learning. I love learning.