Ecclesiastes 2:4-11 - I increased my possessions:
I built houses for myself; I planted vineyards for myself.
I designed royal gardens and parks for myself, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.
I constructed pools of water for myself, to irrigate my grove of flourishing trees.
I purchased male and female slaves, and I owned slaves who were born in my house;
I also possessed more livestock – both herds and flocks – than any of my predecessors in Jerusalem.
I also amassed silver and gold for myself, as well as valuable treasures taken from kingdoms and provinces.
I acquired male singers and female singers for myself, and what gives a man sensual delight –
a harem of beautiful concubines!
So I was far wealthier than all my predecessors in Jerusalem, yet I maintained my objectivity:
I did not restrain myself from getting whatever I wanted;
I did not deny myself anything that would bring me pleasure.
So all my accomplishments gave me joy; this was my reward for all my effort. Yet when I reflected on everything I had accomplished and on all the effort that I had expended to accomplish it, I concluded: “All these achievements and possessions are ultimately profitless – like chasing the wind! There is nothing gained from them on earth.”
The message above, from King Solomon is a glimpse of the lifestyle behind technology. So many people, especially in the United State, spend countless amounts of money on Technology. So many people need the newest items out on the market. They throw away last years item before it has been worn out. What a waste of money. As Solomon said, "All these achievements and possessions are ultimately profitless". Why waste money on getting the newest piece of technology? Why not use technology for something of profit such as making the life of another person easier.
With the increase in technology over the past 20 years, we have everyday people using technology in just about every arena of life. Cellular phones, which were once a novelty used by business men and computer techs, are now used by every kind of person and every member of the family. Cell phones can be heard in office cubicles and throughout the halls of schools, libraries and airports. E-mail has replaced paper and pen. Greeting, birthday, anniversary, get well, and other cards are no longer sent through the postal service, but sent down the cyber highway. Photo albums, family genealogy, and address books are stored digitally online. Memory sticks, small enough to fit in the palm of your hand can store documents with hundreds of pages, pictures, video or music. The world’s smallest camera is less than one millimeter in diameter and can scan the insides of coronary arteries. The largest telescope weighs 300 tons, is 10 meters in diameter, and can detect the presence of a single candle flame on the moon. We have the technology to peer into the world of objects at the atomic level and at the same time snap pictures of planetary objects light years away from Earth. However wonderful this technology is, the separation of those who possess it and those who cannot is great and, at times, very sad. Business men, chatting with friends and loved ones on their cellular phones, walk past lonely homeless people everyday. A person hiking, using a Global Positioning System (GPS) device, can pin-point his exact location on Earth, while at the same time a teenager can be lost on the streets of a small city. What a striking contrast in social, economic and technological status.
Am I proposing the distribution of technology evenly across all classes of people? No. I am proposing the idea of using our extraordinary technology for not only entertainment and scientific discovery, but for uniting and loving man kind. If we can send pictures from a digital camera to a relative across the country, then why can’t we send a picture of a homeless man to his daughter who is the same distance away? Instead of creating more pornography web sites, why can’t we create web sites with pictures and videos of people searching for their lost family members? In addition to using technology to map out the cosmos and the ocean floor, I want us to use technology to create a map of the homeless so that people can find each other. Yet, that would only be the beginning. Another issue is that some people are homeless intentionally. And some people are lost for a reason. Some people want nothing to do with their family. Teaching people to love each other can be much harder than initially finding them.
Helping individuals and families love one another begins with communication. Absence does not always make the heart grow fonder. Absence sometimes becomes an excuse not to communicate. It is easier to hide when you are in another state or area code. If someone can’t afford long distance, then they have an excuse for not calling. Why not provide them with a free phone card, loan them a cell phone or create a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) web site where people can communicate long distances free of charge. Better yet, record a message onto a camcorder and post it to a web site so that people can not only communicate with voices, but with friendly gestures also.
Then we come to one task which is sometimes harder than all of the rest, helping individuals to help themselves. While driving around the city I can’t help but notice different street corners with persons standing and holding signs that say, “Homeless. Please help.”, “God bless!” or “Hungry veteran”. It is sad. What is also sad is that just two years ago you would see people holding similar signs, yet with the statement, “Will work for food” on it. Now they don’t even mention working and they are asking for money rather than food. This tells me that people would rather have money given to them, and have others help them, rather than helping themselves. For some of them, I am sure that it just means they have not been able, themselves, to get out of the position they have arrived at in life. Technology can solve this problem. Thousands of resources for help are found online, on the Internet. But how many libraries allow street people inside there doors? How many street people can get a library card? Such resources can be brought to the streets using technology.
Such ideas are but a glimpse of what LLIFTT has in mind. LLIFTTing takes love, strength, perseverance and patience. These come through patience. The world will be a better place when people are in better situations. When the neighbors are happy, the neighborhood can sleep peacefully. People can learn to love. Love can be taught. People can help each other as well as learn to help themselves. The lost can be found. The world can be a better place.