I’ve been thinking about some of the contributions that I’ve made to people’s lives, and I wanted to share them here. My hope is that anyone reading this would think about the motives behind why I did these things, and perhaps incorporate the good intentions into their lives.
Last week, I was contacted by text by a cousin. The message was simple: “I don’t know anything about computers, and you do.” He has a 13 year old son who was looking into getting a gaming PC, but the budget was only five hundred dollars. He asked for a twenty minute call with his son to talk about options in the confines of his budget. Needless to say, this was going to be a very difficult task.
I took the call and was happy to talk things over. After around fifteen minutes, I could hear the passion for computers in his son’s voice, but knew that with his budget, he was never going accomplish his goal… at least not with quite a bit of saving money. So I came up with a plan.
About a year prior, I had purchased several gaming capable computers to be used as servers for my business. These servers were i5 processors with Asus motherbaords, and 16 GB of RAM each. I also happened to have some graphics cards laying around. So I decided to bring the conversation to a new level for this young man. Although I had over a thousand dollars into this computer, I told him that he could give me four hundred of his dollars, and I would use that to ship this workhorse to him; but needless to say, there was an ulterior motive.
When I offered the deal to him, the conversation was saturated with thank yous. When he was done rejoicing, I told him that there was more to our deal than just his money. That is, of course, where he got pretty silent.
I told him that in order to continue using the computer, I would send him a series of challenges of which he must complete. These challenges could be weekly or monthly, but they will be required; otherwise, I would get the computer back (not that I ever would take it back). The challenges are made to be simple and designed so that he would learn about the dangers of the internet, while being armed with the knowledge of the things that also make it great.
Our first challenge was placed on his desktop in a text file that I created before I sent it to him. It was to identify the model number of the wireless card that I had included, and explain to me what the card was for. In the same message, I also told him that I would require another phone call so that we could discuss the dangerous types of people that are out there that would do him harm. After a small discussion at the end of the conversation, we went our separate ways, and I sent him the equipment.
Upon receiving the computer, he contacted me again with some questions. It was booting only to the BIOS, and wouldn’t go any further. I figured that perhaps some cables had gotten disconnected during shipping, but wasn’t going to know this until he described the rig to me. It was a fortunate accident that I would be able to teach him a bit about the hardware, and I did. We discussed how the connections worked, and found the SATA cable that had been disconnected from the hard drive. I used the remainder of our time on that phone call to pursue the conversation about the internet before he was able to connect to his wireless internet.
It was a wonderful experience seeing and hearing the joy of him receiving his very first desktop computer. His school laptop is a chromebook, and that’s definitely not the same! I look forward to the challenges ahead of us as he continues to learn about hardware, coding, and perhaps even some hacking if he stays hungry for knowledge. I know he will.
I was able to do something similar to this story on a few other occasions. I’ve been creating servers my entire life, and have several spares. One buddy of mine needed a VR racing rig, and I happened to have all of the equipment. I sold it to him very cheap. Another needed an upgraded gaming computer because his was way outdated, but money was scarce. I did the same for him at an extremely low price.
Even though I know that I’me losing out monetarily, the joy of giving and providing what people need far outweighs what I sacrifice. I hope to continue to be able to take care of people as my life proceeds, especially if I can contribute with something that I care deeply about.
I hope this finds all of its readers well, and inspires people to continue the Good in the World!