Can talking heal a world gone mad?

Talking heals2.002

Can talking heal a world gone mad?

All around me teenagers are wondering what is going on in our world. They see bombings in peaceful places, shootings, great tragedies caused by people who just seem to want to cause pain and torment to innocent people. Right now, in our world, there are wars being fought that affect everything from the value of the dollar to the price of our oil. In this global economy we are truly experiencing a butterfly effect of sorts on an everyday basis. When conflict happens on one side of the world there are repercussions everywhere. This is not necessarily natural disasters, or cosmic disturbances but real people hurting real people. It’s ludicrous.

I see a great deal of fear and anxiety amongst my students. They see the threats from North Korea and they know their lives are being affected by forces outside of their own control. This new world many of them are born into seems to be balanced precariously on the edge of a knife.

On a personal level my students are also seeing a great deal of pain and tragedy in their own lives and the lives of their friends. They hear of story after story of bullying, cutting, suicides and pain. The students I work with are asking all kinds of questions. Why are people like this? Why doesn’t someone do something? How can anyone stop this nonsense?

Many of my students have watched the breakup of their parents marriages, have seen hearts broken. They have known victims of bullies who could no longer take the pressure and finally just end it all.

How does one change the course of a broken and tragic world?

Michael Jackson challenged us all to start with the man in the mirror. I would like us to take one step further… start talking to the people next to you. No matter who they are. Human beings need communication, we need to speak to one another, to have a conversation. We need to move beyond status updates, blog posts and twitter feeds. Ultimately, we need to move from carrying on a textual relationship and move into the realm of actually seeing people face to face, eyeball to eyeball.

It’s a scary world, but all it needs is a little conversation. We need to be able to listen to one another, and learn from each other. Less hate and more awkward questions. Less pain and more laughter. Less eyes on our phones and more eyes looking into the eyes of those who are hurting.

Can talking heal a world gone mad? I think so.

The beautiful tragedy of being an independent app developer.

“I’m so indie I don’t wear plaid anymore. Say Rad anymore, like that band anymore. Cuz’ I’m too indie to be like that anymore, and you can find me in the vinyl at the second hand store.” – Transit, Rap artist

I’m not really an independent app developer. I think that’s a step up from where I am. I’m a hobbyist developer. I build apps because it’s fun to do in my spare time. I have almost no spare time lately, like other husbands out there in the real world I’m finishing a basement. Instead of being knee deep in code, or app updates or even writing new questions for my apps, I’m knee deep in drywall compound and sanding dust.

In my real job I get the chance to travel around and speak to students. This weekend I was out at a youth retreat called Re-Charge at a summer camp called Bellevue Lodge. Most teenagers think it’s pretty cool that I have my own line of apps.¬†Generally when I speak I like to give my apps away for free. This weekend I made Ask Me Anything for Teens free. The beauty of that is I get to advertise my apps for no actual cost.

The tragedy is that I totally completely forgot to say anything about my apps. Usually, in my last session I talk about my apps. I show off the app running on an ipad and I get a few “oohs and ahhs,” and a few laughs. This weekend I said nothing. LOL.

That is the beautiful tragedy of being an independent app developer. The whole thing revolves around you and rises and falls because of you. I have Facebook. I have a website. I have a blog. I instagram. I use twitter. It’s all there for me to use to market my apps. What I don’t have is thousands of dollars to spend on marketing, or advertising. I can’t afford an iAd. I’m not sure there’s much value in facebook ads yet. That’s the reality of it. You’ve got to spend money to make money and I am just not yet willing to bet the farm on my hobby.

So, instead, Ask Me Anything will remain my hobby. I love it. Every single month I get a cheque from apple and every single month I think to myself, “I am getting paid, by Apple, to keep doing my hobby.” That’s pretty cool.

Thanks for the downloads. Have a great day.