Today is a day of remembrance for not only the Internet, but also all of the heroes who have made a difference with and because of it. There are so many to list, and some are no longer with us or are in harms way. They have gone up against Goliath and been trampled, even though they had the strength and courage of a thousand or more.
Men like Aaron Swartz, who is now being remembered because tragedy once again doused a flame that had burned so bright. They fought the “good fight” – if there is even such a thing anymore. It’s not so easy to visualize, when the definition of good and bad have been so wrongly skewed. Where legal means little because moral has no part in it. And where the Golden Rule seems to be little more than feel good words that too few take to heart any longer.
Last year, the Internet stood up for itself against some adversaries who were and are greedily determined to claim it as their own. But those who live and breath the Internet knows that it belongs to everyone and no one. And that’s just as it should be. It’s a land where voices are numerous, sharing is encouraged, and everyone belongs. No matter what you have to say, you have a platform to be heard…as long as you’re prepared to discuss and respect other points of view (which is hard, I know). Perhaps we all defend it because we feel that this is the last frontier that we can protect. Look at what the others have become through greed, deceit, dishonor, and distrust.
We need to use today, January 18th, as a day of remembrance. To remember the heroes like Aaron who believed in social justice. And many more like him who gave up their most precious treasures so that the world could take a step in the right direction once again. A direction that embraces equality, openness, sharing, caring, fairness, and all of the other qualities that we look for in the real “good”. And then we need to take a step into each new day and live it in a way that gives some sense of meaning to those who are lost to us, because the world has become a little darker without them.
p.s. I only knew a little of Aaron’s history, and yet still feel the hole he’s left behind. Condolences to all who knew and loved him. We lose too many good people too soon.