What It’s Like to Be Born Into a World of Innovation

I got to babysit my eight-week-old grandson yesterday. Our daughter had to go to the dentist, our son-in-law had a meeting, and my wife had to substitute teach. It was my day off, so I got the text: “Would you want to come watch Crosby?” Um. Do you even have to ask? I would move heaven and earth to spend some time with my favorite little boy. Being with Crosby made me realize that this little boy is surrounded by innovation.

Crosby and I spent about an hour-and-a-half all by ourselves. And Grandpa did just fine, thank you. I carried him around the apartment. He fell asleep. His Uncle Ben called and woke him up, so we face-timed with Uncle Ben for a little while. Pretty soon a diaper needed to be changed (yes, I still remember how to do that). Then we played on his little play mat. Before we knew it Mommy came home.

As we spent a little time together I began to think about all the innovation Crosby already has in his little world. He has an Amazon Echo Dot in his house that can set a timer for his nap or play lullaby music. His pack n’ play has everything but the kitchen sink. The monitor attached to his bed plays video to an app on an iPhone. Even his diapers don’t have sticky tabs. Don’t ask me how, but they attach without “tape” like diapers used to.

The CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, recently described today’s world as a place that “values innovation more than anything else.” We can debate the value and morality of that statement. But there’s no arguing the fact that our world is filled with innovation that is greatly valued. That’s the world that Crosby has been born into.

He will never know what it’s like to live without a cell phone, a computer right on his desk, or the internet. He will always know the conveniences of innovation. He’ll be able to do things past generations only dreamed of. When he wants to he’ll be able to book his own vacation online. All the information in the world’s libraries will be right in his own hand. When he wants to see (live!) the face of a friend on the other side of the world, he’ll be able to do that.

Now Artificial Intelligence is coming down the pike. Machines are being taught to think like human beings. Who knows where that will lead? It’s both scary and exciting at the same time.

So here’s what I will try to teach Crosby in this innovative world:

  • Use technology with gusto, but always be wary and respectful of it.
  • Learn how to be bravely creative.
  • Don’t be afraid to innovate. It will do you well in life.
  • Don’t always rely on technology. Find opportunities to use your own brain without any technological help.
  • Love people before innovation.

I hope I get to babysit again soon. I’m sure it will inspire yet another blog post. (Love you Croz Man!)

What would you add to the above list?

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