No. 229



The verdict is in. The Internet, and its many implications is going to impact our daily lives more than any other single invention in the history of mankind. The limits of the Internets capability is governed only by our single and collective imaginations. But like anything else of this magnitude, the consequences or results are not always positive and if we do not exercise good judgment, the outcome can be disastrous.

From my perspective, here is a question that each of us would do well to keep uppermost in our mind. Is the Internet a curse or a blessing? The answer to this question is yes because it can be either one, depending on how we use it. To illustrate what I mean, please allow me to share this story that I heard several years ago. In this small town an elderly gentleman had won the respect and admiration of the whole community as one of the wisest men to ever have lived there. Whenever a problem or dispute arose, people would come from miles around to seek his counsel and advice.

One day a young lad who knew of the reputation of the wise old sage approached him with a small bird in his hand. He said, Old man, is the bird I have in my hand alive or dead? The young mans plan was simple. If he said it was dead, he would open his hand and the bird would fly away. If he said alive, then he would crush the bird and hand it to him dead. However, the answer the wise old sage gave to this young lad displayed the wisdom that he had acquired over the years. He said, As you will my son.

In a very real sense this is the story of the Internet for each of us. Its a matter of how we use it that will determine whether or not its a blessing or a curse. Here at our small business, we have only been on the Internet for just a few months. I would have gotten on much sooner but my wife has been dead set against it. She is a very wise person and I always listen to her. Her reasons for not wanting to get on the Internet were because of all the forces of evil that can be found there, along with not wanting to give out any personal and sensitive information that can be used by unscrupulous people.

She finally relented when almost all of our nations newspapers got online and we can e-mail our columns to them so much quicker, easier and less expensive. Its been a God send as I can now go to my new computer and e-mail columns to papers anywhere in the country in a matter of minutes. I also use it when I need some information or there is a particular site I want to check out. As to the smutty side of the Internet, Ive never been there and dont ever plan to go. I want to use this great tool and not let it use me.

Another feature or site of the Internet that we have never visited is the chat room. First of all, we dont have time and we also believe the better part of wisdom is to not open yourself up to total strangers that you know nothing about. A friend told me about a former female employee who was recently divorced and because she was either desperate or lonely or both, she began to meet men in a chat room. She wound up traveling several hundred miles to meet two different men in other states and they both turned out to be a dead end street.

This could have been disastrous in terms of losing her money or even her life. I know it works out for some people but like I said, I just wouldnt want to open myself up for something like that. While I cant tell her, the funny thing about this whole scenario is that my wife now uses the Internet more than I do. Is it a curse or a blessing. Its up to you!! (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)