Back in the nineteen eighties, society was tough,
for no matter what we had, we never had enough.
Compromise and giving were sure difficult to see.
We all thought 'if you benefit, then it means less for me.'
Blacks and whites were more at odds, firms and unions too.
Inflation, unemployment, we just didn't have a clue.
The first wave of technology then arrived upon our shores,
with PCs and new software, the promise of much more.
Americans began to fix our own economy,
with new ways of doing things, and productivity.
Economists looked at the news, their faces all aghast,
This is a New Economy, but will it really last?
Now we have the Internet, a Providential gift;
and we're seeing day by day, it gives most of us a lift.
Saving time and money, with knowledge there for all.
Email and ecommerce, the world is getting small.
Through all the years of history, this is a special time.
Such promise for our future, a Century to shine.
But there is a danger that's lurking down inside.
It even has a cyber-name: the Digital Divide.
For as the Internet expands all of our cyber minds,
the challenge is: to try to not leave anyone behind.
With so much potential waiting at our fingertips,
we have to just remember that we're all on one big ship.
For there is so much more to gain when we help one another,
It comes back to us, as it should, as we will discover.
Just as many of our common teachings tell,
a lesson from so long ago that still applies so well:
GIVE someone a fish today and they will eat tonight,
But TEACH someone to fish today and they will eat for life.
Some people might not be convinced, they may not have the faith.
What if other don't respond, or just don't pull their weight?
What if they don't work that hard, or play by all the rules?
Then we'd all just feel so bad, because they made us fools.
But let us just meditate on where we are right now.
Listen folks, we've got to act, and do something right now!
If we don't make an effort now, to bring folks to the Net,
we're looking at a future that we may not want to get.
We'll see the news one evening in the year 2005,
and wonder how Americans will all ever survive.
Instead of just investing now in training everyone,
we'll murmur sadly, thinking of the things we should've done.
Instead of building prisons, let's build training centers.
Instead of building jealousies, encourage one another.
And what if we all come along and join as friends in need?
Then everyone will give and get, and we will all succeed.
Lots more firms and customers, right here in our land,
less crime and more business, now do you understand?
So much progress then will come from what we do today.
Once everybody joins in the info-highway train.
Imagine what America can be in a few years,
if every single one of us would put away his fears;
to make it our own challenge to encourage one another.
Like an extended family, all sisters and all brothers.
Andrew J. Vass