Pleasantly surprised.

That is how I feel today. As I drove around town, dropping kids at carpools and school, picking up a 45 pound bag of dog food, heading to the library, I caught bits and pieces of the morning show on my local NPR station. Generally, it bothers me to just catch snippets of the show, my brain hating the swiss-cheese holes of missing information, not knowing how to complete the picture. But today the guest in the second hour referred back to something I had heard the guest in the first hour say and I felt the synapses connect, the dots turn to a solid line and the line work its way into the shape of an upturned mouth. The light bulb went on.

The first guest was a social media expert who has taken time off of his job with Google to galvanize the pro-democracy movement in Egypt. He talked about using his skills to take advantage of the free, real-time exchange of information on the Internet in order to promote peace and equality in this part of the Middle East.

The second guest was on to talk about how the Susan G. Komen foundation can begin to rebuild its reputation with its supporters as well as those who deplore their acts of the past few weeks. At one point he said (and I’ll paraphrase here because I was driving, after all and wasn’t able to write down his words) something like the mistake that companies like Komen are making is to think that we are in a technology revolution. We are in a revolution, for sure, just like the Industrial Revolution, for example. But this revolution is not technology, it is information. Technology is simply the oxygen that enables the information to flow.

He went on to say that if any organization, governmental, for-profit, non-profit, whatever, fails to recognize this and engage with their supporters and their detractors in dialogue, they are missing the boat. People want information. They want to give it and get it. They want to feel heard and respected. And those companies that are truly listening to their constituents and incorporating their feedback are more successful and engender loyalty.
I was thinking about this concept as I turned on my laptop and logged in to the web. My home page is set to NPR and the headline that jumped out at me was this one. Speaking of feedback.
And when I realized how many significant changes have come about in American society as a result of the free exchange of information in real time, I felt
Pleasantly surprised.
8 replies
  1. Alicia D
    Alicia D says:

    funny… i was listening to the same stories on NPR today (in the same disjointed in and out of the car fashion). Love NPR but i loved your "cliff notes" summarization better 🙂

  2. Dee Ready
    Dee Ready says:

    Dear Kari,
    The sharing of information that you do today is important. Alicia calls your posting the "cliff notes" for the NPR speakers. I'm go thankful to you for writing these "notes." This is information I can hold onto. It makes me hopeful.


  3. says:

    Information vs. technology. Love this.

    And awesome about the reduction of trans fats! May it one day be so for GMO's as well.

  4. Sandi
    Sandi says:

    Hey Kario!

    True words . . . too little information is the bane of existence unfortunately.
    As for your comments on my post, Dee so graciously linked yours in her response, so that's how I got there! Mainly because I'm really not keeping up like I used to. Work is getting in the way of reading and responding to blog posts and it's frustrating me!!

    However, thanks for your comments, and for your post about self-love, because I needed both!


  5. Deb Shucka
    Deb Shucka says:

    Incredibly well-written piece! I agree with the importance of information and believe communication is the key to everything.

  6. graceonline
    graceonline says:

    I heard part of that segment with the fellow from Egypt too. I felt once again the power of a single individual, when using his or her particular skills and talents, to change the world.

    I didn't hear the Komen segment, but I was heartened a few days ago to learn that the new VP at Susan G Komen foundation is now gone. I understand she was deeply anti-choice and is reported to have been the chief influence in their decision to ax Planned Parenthood funding. So apparently, they got the message loud and clear, that American women want choice and don't like it one bit when one of our hitherto trusted organizations betrays us.

    Would that our Congressional representatives, who seem to have ears only for the corporate bosses who line their pockets, could be so responsive to the rest of us–we who merely pay their salaries and fund their pensions and Rolls Royce health plans.

    If I sound like I'm on a bit of a soap box, I must admit, I am. I'm reeling at the moment from terrible news and came here to get a bit of a sanity fix. (Thank you for providing just what I needed!)

    I just learned that the FDA is poised to let loose 30,000 drones, including the tiny hummingbird spy drone, (It looks just like a hummingbird!), on Americans. I'm completely knocked off kilter, learning of this potentially devastating assault on our privacy.

    Already, some police departments have purchased drones like the ones the US deploys in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. So far, the FDA has not permitted those police departments to deploy their drones here, on our communities. Apparently, that is about to change.

    Here's the link to the article if you're interested in learning more about it:

    Every day I take heart at what we as individuals are able to accomplish by joining our voices with millions of others. Thank you for giving me something to feel good about on this afternoon when the news has been so bad.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *