Practicing from the Heart in the age of Technology - All articles and poems are by Reza Ghadimi, unless otherwise noted.
A documentary starts by showing a small caravan of six camels and four men walking across the hot sands of Mauritania in West Africa. The hooves of the camels and sandals of men displace the dry sand with every step, leaving a long trail stretched to the horizon, dramatically revealed by the slow rise of the camera for an aerial view. Suddenly the camels are alarmed, as a faint rumbling sound is heard far away. The men stop and watch amazed as the whistle of a train is heard in the distance. Soon several locomotives come into view pulling a long train of hoppers carrying iron ore. Men and beast watch as twenty first century interrupts their ancient way of life.
The film reminded me of another documentary across equally desolate and isolated yet incredibly cold Siberia. Where temperatures dip bellow -70C. There too, people have their primitive lives disrupted by modern transportation systems. New man comes with trains, trucks, machinery and remove the iron, copper, lumber, etc from their backyard and leave destruction and waste to their land and often sicken them in the process. As the journalist traveling the cold of the arctic said "a country is not a place on a map at all, but a story full of people you meet and places you visit." Interestingly, while these places and thousands of others like them are exposed to fresh realities, the healthcare system is not one of them.
There are thousands of nationalities worldwide. It might be difficult to understand other lifestyles and traditions, but they do exist and have needs that are disrupted by modern life. The information technology/internet is reaching them faster than the amenities it portrays, adding to the disparities they see and feel. Among them and perhaps the most needed is healthcare. These people see this as a new way of slavery. It is time this is changed and they receive their share of prosperity. The absurdity of it is that it cost so relatively little to provide healthcare to every corner of the world. Programs such as Project Echo can educate and supervise people in these areas to care for themselves. We have the means, even the money, it just takes a little caring.