Tuesday, June 1, 2010

GPS

Yesterday it was a travel day from Kentucky back to Iowa, a long llloooonnnngggg day! It started at 8:15, and ended around 7:30 in the evening. Driving along, I noticed that many of the cars, vans, and trucks we passed had a GPS unit hanging on the dash. I can hear some of you saying that the map reading abilities of the younger generation are degrading as we read. But, I don’t want to get into that debate. Instead, as we traveled, I found my thoughts wandering in two different directions.

The first trail heads to the story make believe area of Eureka, the television show, and how the different mechanical things like cars and houses have personalities and artificial intelligences. In honor of the show, we were calling our GPS Sarah. When she was on, she offered helpful hints to turn this way or that, but at other times after trying to coach her into cooperating she would just be shut off. So, the first thought was along that line. I was imagining some evil genius mastermind, white lab coat included, which was somehow writing a master script that made all the GPS units take the cars hostage and go someplace specific. Where, I don’t know because that trail dead-ended about there.
The other trail that I found myself heading down was different types of Global Positioning Systems. Positioning, this could be physical location, spiritual location, mental or emotional location. A GPS that could help us map out where the others are at, to understand their thinking better. Wouldn’t that be such an enormous thing to see the trails our enemy or our friends are heading down, where they have already been. It wouldn’t quite be following Atticus Finch’s advice to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, but it would be awfully close.
If I could see you mapped out, how might I see this world differently, how might you see me differently?