Whether you live and work in London, Singapore, Seattle, Hong Kong, Seoul, Rome, Tokyo, [insert your city/town/village here...], being a technology worker (IT, developer, management, etc.) depends on one common denominator: the ability read, process, and create new information in your respective language. Without the ability to read and write, the mechanism for building and using knowledge is broken. This is so basic that most of us take it for granted. But, imagine writing a script for your network environment or figuring out a config problem without these skills... good luck.

In an increasingly complex world (technological, social, political, you name it...), something that continues to stand out - if you look for it - is the ability of one person to make a difference for hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions. Through simple actions, they spark change - hopefully for the good - that spreads far beyond what they imagined possible. It could be an idea you have for a simple change that makes your IT environment more flexible. Maybe it's someone that posts a sample right here on DevCentral that changes the way people look at solving problems in the future. I could go on and on. But, never underestimate the impact of doing something - anything - and sharing it, understanding that we, as individuals can create change that has far-ranging effects in virtually every realm of our lives.

So, why am I getting all philosophical you ask? It's simple. The ability to learn and act are critical components of our human existence. They are essential and need to be cultivated. Personally, I contribute to causes that help people learn to read. I try to inspire action when I see things that need to be shared. And, when I come across meaningful stories that reinforce these values, I try to point them out.

One of those stories is "Three Cups of Tea", a book I recently read. I won't go into details (you can read reviews here or read Greg Mortensen's blog here). I have no desire to address the politics of this story because if you think about it for 30 seconds, the point of the story transcends politics. Helping people - those limited for any variety of reasons - get the opportunity learn sets individuals (and the world, frankly) on a different trajectory. A trajectory that creates hope. A trajectory that improves everyone's lives, directly or indirectly. And, a trajectory that can make everyone agents of change in whatever realm they desire, be it education, politics, or even technology.

While I don't know him personally, I believe in the author and agent of change (sidenote: the story of persistence and how he started is worth the read alone). If you're looking for a good read or cause, you might want to check it out.