It’s harmful to employ technology fired by anger and hatred. It can only be beneficial if we’re motivated to seek the welfare of all beings. – Dalai Lama
What does that mean?
To me, this is a very interesting quote, in that it pits our morals and values against the immense power and capability of our present-day technology.
And when our emotions are out of line, that power and capability can easily be used in a less that wonderful manner. And with today’s level of technology, that is a very scary thought.
The same rockets that can put satellite into orbit to broadcast TV, radio, and telephone signals all over the world can just as easily drop a nuke anywhere in the world.
That is why anger and hatred, when amplified by the power and capability of technology is so scary. And why we must do everything we can to keep the anger and hatred to a minimum and instead, seek to make the welfare of our fellow humans a priority.
Why is remaining calm and collected important?
If we can keep our heads, and not allow anger a toe-hold, it becomes much harder for us to ever to ever get to hatred. If we can keep these emotions out of our lives, what use is technology? It can then only be helpful, or at worst, neutral. And when we can use technology to promote the welfare of others, everyone wins.
If we fail to remain calm and collected, and allow anger and hatred to take over, technology becomes a powerful force multiplier, and capable of doing terrible harm. Think about the technology in your life, and how it could be used to harm another, if you were of the mind to use it in that manner.
Now consider how that same technology could be used to help others, to promote the welfare of others. How many different ways can you come up with just to use the internet to help others? A blog is just the first of many possible ideas. But none of these are helpful if you are angry, right?
The same tool can be beneficial if we are calm and collected, but harmful or even deadly if we are full of anger or hatred. Does that help you understand why we must work to remain calm and collected, even in the face of unpleasant experiences or even harm? The last thing the world needs is to see harm redoubled, as you retaliate in kind (or is that unkind?).
Where can I apply this in my life?
Imagine how terrible life would be if our technology were used against us? We’ve seen it world-wide with the NSA (from the USA) spying on people, and tracking phone calls (but claiming not to have listened in on any of them). It could get much worse, as our cell phones give our locations to the phone company.
What else could governments do with that information? Ask the people in the Ukraine or in Venezuela. But we have limited control of our own governments, and even less of foreign governments. What can we do about our own use of technology, or more precisely our potential to abuse it when we are angry?
There are many ways in the world of social media to use information against someone. If you are angry or if you hate them, you could stalk them, simply by using what their social media says about where they are. No, I won’t tell you how, there is too much of that going on already. Please, don’t even think that way.
Another way technology could be used to harm others is to ruin someone’s reputation. It could be done with either truth or lies. Nearly everyone has done something they would rather not be made public. I imagine nearly everyone has done something they regret. Imagine if someone made it their purpose to make sure everyone knew about it?
On the other hand, we have ways in which we can use technology to the benefit of our fellow humans. How many ways can you send an encouraging or inspiring word to someone else? You can talk to them by phone. You can send an e-mail or a text message. You can post blogs or use various chat rooms or forums.
You can use technology to share information to help make their lives better through web pages, blogs, e-books, and various knowledge sites, such as lifehacker.com or wikipedia.org. Even the chat rooms and forums are full of people exchanging ideas and assisting one another.
One final example I like is the Amber Alert System, which uses modern communication systems to help alert the general population of an area about kidnapped or abducted children. To date, nearly 700 children have been recovered, many were simply let go when the Alert went out. That is a win for welfare in my book.
Please note that the only technology I discussed was computer or communication related. There are tons of other technologies which can be used, from biotech to metallurgy, to be beneficial to others, to increase the welfare of all the other inhabitants of this planet.