The first time I entered a library I was overwhelmed by all the information. At the time I was more interested in all the science fiction but I soon learned that there was much more than just fiction. I never considered how much work went into putting that repository of knowledge together for my benefit.
Forgive me for not realizing how all the pieces went together, I was young, but I assumed that the library paid the librarians and the library bought all the books so the authors were also paid. It never occurred to me that the few fines I paid were far too little to support the library, I was too busy deciding what to take home next.
Fast forward to today. Rather than planning an afternoon at the library, I bring up the Internet and Google whatever subject I’m looking for. I might find the information on YouTube or in a blog or in Wikipedia. If the subject is complicated I may browse to Amazon for a book on the subject.
If I’m only looking for entertainment, I start with the Kindle books on Amazon. Once again I really never put much thought into how much work goes into making all that information available to me. That all changed recently.
If you spend any time in Texas, you’ll soon think it’s a state law that each family has to own a pickup. Fortunately my wife really likes her pickup, using it to carry horse feed, hay, agility equipment and the odd piece of lumber for maintenance on the farm.
When she called me on her way to Houston and told me that it sounded like raccoon with a hammer was trapped behind the dash, I was able to locate a YouTube video with the same sound within five minutes. Another ten minutes and I knew it was covered by warranty, was only annoying and that it was also related to her air conditioner not working. With that information, she was able to compete in her show without worrying about her engine falling out on the way back home.
Let’s take a moment to go back through this, someone put the video of their truck making this sound on YouTube, several people had videos of what it took to replace the parts, several more people had written in various forums describing the sound, telling us what years were in warranty and even how long it took. With the exception of one person on YouTube selling a kit, none of the contributors stood to make any money.
I doubt that any of them know that they saved the weekend for my wife. Every one of these people took the time to make this information available to people like me. Of course I sat down and wrote everyone of them a deep thank you for all the time, effort and concern they saved me. Well, I thought about it. I should have done it.
And there’s my point, we don’t thank them, not nearly enough. These people had nothing to sell, they went out of their way to provide information, and we can’t take the time to thank them.
Yes, I know it’s hard. You usually have to set up an account and give your email address to give a response. Once you do that, it’s only a matter of time before your address gets sold and you get flooded with spam. That’s your only excuse?
You don’t have to give your real name. Most of the time you don’t even have to give a real email address. If you’re really concerned, you can use Google, Yahoo or even Microsoft for a spare email address. I’ve found that using slight variants of my name when I sign up allows me to see where the spam originated.
Why do so few of us leave a simple thank you?
When I look at forums and the comments people leave, I can see one reason people don’t want to participate. It seems like the people posting comments are more interested in discussing the rules of grammar than actually showing appreciation for the effort to make information available. Yep, I don’t even want to be on the same column as those losers.
While I justify all that to myself, I have two stray thoughts. The only reason those people went to the effort of providing that information was in hope of someone saying thanks and in my post on Apathy I said you have to speak out for what you believe. This is our neighborhood and a few thank you comments might go a long way to improve our community.
Pardon me, I have to stop here. I have a video on YouTube and a few posts on air conditioner diverter doors that I need to hunt down and leave comments. It’s time to speak up, if only to say Thanks.
© Copyright 2013 Byron Seastrunk, All rights Reserved. Written For: Opinion by pen