Technology moves fast. But often the impetus to make it work for social ends lags behind. In an attempt to relate how far technology can come in a short time, I often tell my children the story of when my father first experienced the power of electric light.
Born in 1936 in Kentucky, USA, my father knew first-hand the pressures of growing up in poverty. His family, like others in the area, burned wood for heating and lit their home using a kerosene lantern. At age 11, my father moved to a farm in southern Indiana. He clearly remembers walking into the new farmhouse and spending five minutes, awestruck, flicking the electric light on and off. Having clean, bright light, literally changed his life. Homework at night, after he had done his chores, was no longer a battle with the unsafe, inefficient light of the kerosene lantern. He worked hard and went on to become a well-respected doctor, spending most of his working life improving the lives of families and children. read more