If anything positive can be attributed to the terrible loss I experienced last month, I’ve found myself reconnected to people I had long ago lost track of. Cousins who live pretty nearby. Less-direct relatives. Friends of friends.
I’ve also connected with some people who my sister knew, but because I was just a kid when I knew of them I was only peripherally attached to. I’ve been in close touch with one of those people, and he feels like a real bridge between Barbara and me—and it seems I’m serving in a similar manner for him.
Like I said . . . good things happen even when it seems like bad things are crushing the air right out of your lungs. Yikes. Sounds just like business change.
A few days ago, this guy—his name also happens to be Jeff—dropped me a line, telling me a story about his problems at a 24-hour FedEx store in Manhattan. The store was there. It was open in the wee hours. FedEx did their job. But my new friend needed to get at a computer terminal in the FedEx store to complete his business there and couldn’t. Why? Because a homeless person was downloading and watching videos, and wasn’t inclined to stop. Jeff put it well:
We’re All Homeless and Looking for Internet
We are, you know.
As much as we convince ourselves of just how in control we are of our environments, it takes very little to suddenly change . . . everything. Business change is about managing those bumps in the road, and maybe building a few to make things more difficult for our competitors.
And yet, we persist in believing otherwise. As I said to Jeff, we’d have to be incredibly arrogant to believe the homeless to be any different than “us” even in their need of Internet, even for entertainment. The most downtrodden of the downtrodden have cell phones today, right?
What’s funny (or something) is that those of use who can more easily afford to purchase our plethora of wireless devices spend hours doing the same thing at Starbucks during daylight hours as this homeless man was doing at FedEx, because it’s free and even if you feel bad about paying nothing it costs . . . what . . . a couple of $2 cups of coffee per day to set up an ad-hoc office?
We’re All Homeless and Looking for Internet.
We’re all the same. Think it’s coincidence that this came to mind for me as the Republican National Convention got under way today? We all just want to be able to talk to the people around us and be taken seriously. It isn’t about morals, taxes, politics, or anything else. The hypocrisy of thinking we’re
different better than other people is where we fall down.
The Homeless don’t just want Internet; they want jobs. And lest we slide into the ultimately-voiceless domain of comic strip characters pontificating on issues like taxation, we need to remember that.
Because we’re all homeless and looking for Internet.