Every once in a while you experience something that gives you a renewed perspective on the world around you. Many of mine have come from traveling to different places and meeting new people, but I recently had one while checking the stats for a blog I had posted.
Something I wrote in a small town in Connecticut has been read by people from seven different countries.
Often we see the web as a place to connect with those we know and love by sharing photos, videos, and maybe even an interesting article. We curate our friends list, followers, and news feed to the point where we sometimes have a skewed view of what’s going on in the world. I want to strike more of a balance. Discovery is very important to me, and while I don’t want to ignore what’s in front of me (my wife and kids), I also don’t want to squander the immense opportunity I have in the largest network ever known to mankind.
The beauty of the internet is its openness. Blogs, e-books, websites, search engines, streaming services, and online archives put the majority of the world’s knowledge at our fingertips. What comes to mind is a movie scene when a character walks into a massive library. The camera pans out and you see the stacks towering over someone longing for exploration. I’m often daunted by the sheer mass of information, but I’ve spent hours cycling through design concepts, watching documentaries, and listening to new music. One might ask, “What’s the point?”
It is so easy to get caught up in your own world and lose sight of the fact that everyone has a different perspective. When you explore the world outside your day to day experience, the world becomes a little bit smaller. One specific avenue of discovery that is especially important to me is learning about what someone believes from someone who believes it. For example, There are tens of thousands of Christian denominations. Since graduating college, I’ve spent some time studying Church history to learn the origins of doctrines and have gained a respect for a number of sects ai used to blindly denounce. I have even changed some of my own personal views after weighing the evidence.
The danger, I believe, is when you lose yourself in the swarm. Someone having a perspective does not mean that perspective is right (That statement right there is a blog in and of itself). However, Someone being ignorant, wrong, or even incorrigible does not give license to disrespect or mockery. Looking back on my own life, I’ve been wrong more times than I’ve been right. For many years (and still even now) I’ve tried to argue wIth people to convince them of my views. However, when I step back, I can see it was time and experience that gave me room to grow, not the attacks of others.
Which brings me back to the people from seven countries who took the time to read a few words from my blog: Thank you. Thank you for stepping outside your daily lives to see the world through a twenty-something American’s eyes. Thank you for reading, and thank you for returning if you have. I hope that you have gained something from my posts, and pray that some day we will meet. It is an honor.
What is one of your favorite internet discoveries?