I was teaching a workshop this past week at AccessU, an excellent, highly focused event surrounding universal design, usability, accessibility and Open Web methodologies and philosophies. After a lovely morning of passionate discourse and learning, we went to have lunch. Upon my return, I was horrified to find an email from my youngest brother telling me my mother had been taken to the hospital and was possibly having a stroke.Of course this is deeply upsetting to me, and being far away from all my family members the need to connect with them, and most especially my mother, was immediate and extreme. Fortunately, via email, tweets and yes—even Facebook—the family rallied around as did many other friends and colleagues. This outpouring of love and consideration is what is keeping me strong right now.As I said my goodbyes to the workshop to go and figure out what the next steps are going to be in terms of my Mom's health and well-being, I thanked everyone and began to cry, speaking from my heart. This is why we're here. This is what the Open Web and open communications technologies are for - to connect people across the world. To strengthen, to educate, to empower and most importantly, to love.Mortality reminds us in very cold, frightening terms how fragile our life and times truly are. The Web, which is a naturally social and interactive communications platform, can help bring us all closer. The fighting, the drama, the debates - they all become irrelevant in these very mortal moments. Let us all reach for the greatness within ourselves and put it into our Web work every day, because even on those days we feel it's overwhelming or doesn't matter, it really truly does. One world, one Web, one love, my brothers and sisters.
20 May 2012