Give Up the 411

by Donald R. Barbera

Sometimes it is easy to forget that not everyone has access to the same level of resources that we have. Each day we communicate instantly with businesses and each other over the Internet. Messages and multimedia arrive at the speed of electrons traveling the remote ether of the Internet. We take it for granted. Information is at our fingertips, knowledge at our call and access to each other is almost unlimited—except to those who have no resources.

For those whose lives have limited through poverty, dislocation and social stigma, access to anything is difficult. Computers are not the issue—surviving in this callous world is. When you are concerned about eating, staying out of the weather and avoiding death, the Internet and access to information is not so important. Still, it is damned situation. People who are less fortunate need access to the things that could move them from the ranks of the less fortunate and into the ranks of barely making it.

Simple things like knowing where to look for jobs, where to go for medical attention or even telephone service for making calls to hospitals, food kitchens or employment offices. Access to information should be a basic right, but if one has no idea of the information available, it makers no difference to access. An education process is necessary to bring all on-line to the future and to grant access to what we all take for granted—information.

Information can change lives. Information can save lives. Moreover—information can make life worth living.

Give Up the 411 by Donald R. Barbera

© Copyright 1999. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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