Today’s writing challenge is a contribution I was asked to make to Shvali Dixit Saxena – if you are interesting me collaborating or contributing on your blog, let me know. I have seven more days of challenges left to do! I’d love to do YOUR challenge next. Drop me a comment below, or Tweet me @peterwynmosey, or Facebook me @peterwynmosey or drop me an email at email@example.com
To Whom It May Concern,
My life has become an algorithm. A predictable spreadsheet of formulaic transactions that signify nothing. I code and I code and I help technology flourish. I drive the future, but not the present. Not my present. Zeros and ones are not heartbeats. HTML will never help me complete the gaps in my own programming. Life is not binary, it is complex and rich and I am sat in front of a screen day-in-day-out believing that I can make a difference with data.
There was an incident that you need to be aware of. A scene that I witnessed that has reshaped my line of reason. I rarely ever glanced up from my screen. My heart was tied tight to developing ways to connect us. I worked in silence. Alone. But I was not alone. I was never alone. There were always people around me just feet away. But the disconnect was so much that the moon felt closer than us. Every day I sat at my desk. Never noticing the man opposite me wearing a different colour tie each day in the order of the rainbow. Or the joke on the coffee cup that the lady beside me drank from each day. The little things for me were nuances of code that widened an online experience. I was missing the details in reality.
But one night I was working late. Alone. But I wasn’t alone. And neither was she. The lady next to me was crying. I had barely noticed a sound until it got too loud. My emotions nearly got the better of me. I was about to snap. But then I saw her. For the first time, I saw somebody. Really saw them. Not just as a metric, or a node on the system. I saw her humanity and I saw her realness. I saw her pain and I did not know what was happening but I wanted to help her.
I asked her why she was crying. What do people say in these situations? Life is less complicated when you detach yourself from it. Her father had just died. I tried to console her. She had just heard the news. I am not used to dealing with such fresh wounds. She could not get back there to be with her family. She could not drive and she could not afford the transport. She did not want to make the journey alone. So many reasons and such heartache and despair.
Within a split second, I felt a rush of emotion like I had never felt before. I knew that I had to help her. I knew that I couldn’t do anything other than be there for her and take her where she needed to be. Suddenly her needs were much greater than anything that had ever existed in my life.
I don’t know who this lady is, but I know I cannot go the rest of my life without knowing and understanding people. With this in mind, I wish to give notice of my intention to leave with immediate effect.