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Technology & Murphys

Last Friday night I inadvertently stumbled into a short but very insightful conversation with an older gentleman named Steve. He was standing outside one of the local downtown pubs as they were quickly closing for the day. Steve wasn’t exactly the type of guy most people would dive into small talk with. He was a heavy set fellow in his late sixties with long white hair that came down to his shoulders. His face was painted with decades of wrinkles and markings, along with a distinct white goatee. His appearance didn’t bother me at all though; the real reason I spoke to him was because of his fancy white cowboy hat decorated with half a dozen intricate pins. He was flattered by my compliment and began explaining each and every pin to me. After a short while of fascinating stories, I asked him where he was from. He told me he was from a small town by the name of Murphys. I didn’t have a clue where that was so I told him that I would “Google” it when I got home. His short and wise response immediately afterwards got me thinking for the whole night. All he had to say was, “Well you don’t have to Google it, why don’t you just go there?” I smiled and told him I would surely visit sometime soon. I bid him farewell, we shared a firm handshake, and I continued walking down Higuera.

I think our generation has some serious issues that we never think about during our day to day lives. It’s so remarkable how we can “visit” any corner of the world using readily available online tools, but at the same time we are giving up a lot of learning and adventure that comes along with it. Before all this technology existed, learning was much more of a tangible thing. To learn about Murphys I would have had to spend an entire weekend visiting the town, meeting the people, and experiencing the culture. Not bad right?

Technology is a wonderful resource (that is even helping me right now!), but let’s not forget to explore the world and find the other Murphys that are out there. Thank you Murphys, California for getting my head out of my iPhone.

+ M. Farid Shahid

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Photograph Courtesy of www.globalstudentnetwork.com
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