So what do we do now?

Dear friends, makers, movers and shakers. In the spring of 2016, the weeks after my father passed away, I wrote a pathetic (in its original sense) little essay that I now felt inspired to share with you. Related to social entrepreneurship, Assorted thoughts about IT that I wish I knew when growing up, attention economy vs ADD, Teaching Teachers Open Source and Internet of Humans in general, I share with you my sense of urgency to do good:

Most of you will know what I have gone through recently with my father passing away to cancer. Your thoughts and prayers are deeply appreciated.

What I haven’t shared until now are the thoughts and renewed sense of urgency (and reverence) the ordeal brought to me. As a background, my beloved father was a life-long member of the Gnosjö congregation of the Swedish Alliance Missionary church. There was nothing super-natural about what resonated in me, but reverend Arne Henrysson’s memorial service to dad highlighted the meaning of the congregation and prayer. I jest that their friends might pray to Santa Claus, but regardless their thoughts and love for my father and mother are tangible and have carried them. I also got to contemplate the fruits of my dad’s life, and it was nice to see gifts in his memory go to an orphanage in Tanzania my parents visited. The gardens of my father, both material and spiritual, were indeed lovingly cultivated and beautiful to behold.

The other morning, being as well rested as I can be, I had a frustrating dream. I had constructed a contraption for portable music, stringing together a cassette player with speakers. The friend I showed it to was unimpressed, trumping me by drawing on greater innovation and produced a much nicer and as affordable contraption based on streaming music and bluetooth speakers.

The dream was founded in my sense of urgency to just do something about the most glaringly in need people I saw that week - the orphans in Tanzania and the refugees and other marginalized in Sweden. I just wanted to pack a suitcase of raspberry pis and my computer technology education to go help. The dream highlighted to me how that urgency could be mistaken - I would of course like to build on any other efforts being made by others, draw on the innate potential of the receivers and strive towards the greatest result rather than losing myself in pride over my missionary sacrifice.

We clearly live in the fascinating age “when wireless is perfectly applied” (Nikola Tesla, “When woman is boss”, 1926). Innovation, education and change can be spread and reused with minimal effort only limited by how fast humans can adapt. In light of that, I believe the missionary (in the widest sense) and philanthropic roles need to change, but I haven’t yet arrived at how. That is the thought and question I want to reach out to you - as a community and good individuals, just what do we do now, to feel and achieve good?

I decided not to go to Tanzania or the Migrationsverket shelters just today, but writing this letter to my best friends and the brightest minds I know felt like the wisest option. Thank you for your condolences, taking part in my thoughts and just being your beautiful selves.

Related reading: “Capitalism is making way for the age of free”

PS. I posted this under IOH, do relabel or move it if you have any more appropriate repository for contributions such as this