Name a brilliant thinker of the last 200 years. Anyone from Benjamin Franklin to Skeeter Skelton. I can order their books on Amazon, and probably download them instantly. Some of the best are free. Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, for example, lays out his systematic approach to personal improvement. Learn from his stories of getting along with friends and enemies, about accomplishing civic projects, and of his approach to business. I read it on my iPod Touch, on the Kindle app.
Any amazing person of the last 100 years is probably on film. Victor Frankl teaches about finding your purpose in life. Richard Feynman understands everything through physics. I can search online and watch video clips of them instantly.
Our mentors today are all around us. Business re-thinker Tom Peters' punctuated style seems destined for Twitter. Jeff Pulver's big dreams lead us to discover the larger implications of Now. Robert Fulgham's life shapes his essays, and he shares them on his online journal.
I can walk into a section of the bookstore and point to half a dozen books authored, not just by people I know, but also by people who know me, people who greet me with hugs, people spread all over the world. Hell, I'm working on a new book with one of those people, Barry Moltz.
And normal, everyday, extraordinary people share the best of themselves. Glenda Watson-Hyatt helps you question your own limits. Jon Swanson shows you that you can see Jesus in places you never thought to look. And their thoughts come to me every day, delivered to me where ever I am.
I don't think this is the same experience my parents had, or their parents, or anyone had, until now.
How amazed are you, day to day, by having nearly the sum total of human knowledge in your hands? Revel in that amazement for just a moment before you go on.
What are you doing with this astounding opportunity? How are you adding to this enormous legacy? What are you putting in the memory box we're all creating together?
Me? I'm contributing photos.