Bummin’ around

my websurfing today consisted of finding georgia tech’s wearable computing website and looking at a bunch of people who wear funny glasses and have ugly little computers hooked to their sides. in the meantime, lots of people were wondering where their next meal was going to come from, and how to have the best chance of surviving the night.

talking to a homeless guy last night, i saw some interesting things about how we view “stuff”, at our very core. he was sitting in a doorway, talking to people who walked by, occasionally holding out his cup to ask for spare change. i brought him a sandwich and got to listen to him for about an hour and a half.

during that time, various people brought him food and change. in fact, he was doing quite well with food, and other homeless guys found that out. so my guy would offer them each a piece of his windfall, and if they wanted more, he’d ask them for whatever money they had. no one went for that.

but it was interesting that although the man had plenty of food (and in fact i saw that he had not eaten my sandwich but packed it away, and told me he ate it), and had very strong reasons to believe he’d get more, he would not share it freely. he had received it freely, but would not give it.

he spoke at length about the bible and how it was a “map” for our lives. when he handed it to me and i opened it, it randomly fell open to the story of Jesus feeding the 5000. my favorite interpretation of that story was by my college pastor, Scott Dudley, who said that quite possibly, the little boy’s selfless gift of his small meal inspired others to do the same, and in that way the masses were fed. unfortunately that wasn’t the case last night, and i wish it had been.

but hey, what do i know? i drop in out of the sky and spend one night with the guy–maybe he’s got to do things this way. he kept saying that everyone else was out to get him, that he had to constantly watch out for other guys taking his stuff. it’s disgusting that our society can do this to a man.

do we really need all this crazy technology when we still have the most basic problems in the world? if the technology serves to insulate us from the world we live in and the society surrounding us, then the answer is a clear NO. but perhaps, if the technology enhances our ability to perceive the world better and to see its problems more clearly, then it just might be the thing that can make us finally realize what is really going on and spur us to fix our world. that’s my hope, anyway.