Technology. I used to hear that word and think of gadgets and gizmos and the latest and greatest in whatever field you’re looking at…including agriculture.
But not too terribly long after George joined our family, I started looking at technology in a different way.
It’s not just about finding easier ways to complete the same jobs. Nor is it about finding ways to play God. Sometimes technology is simply about saving lives and improving the quality of life for those that are here.
And that’s a hard lesson to learn.
But I have.
Trust me, I do realize that there is a difference between a new app or a device that’s used to steer a tractor and a plant that’s bred to improve its genetic makeup – but one of these causes activists to go crazy, and I’ve never seen a protest line outside of GameStop the night before a new game is released. (But then again, I don’t normally hang out there, so let me know if I’m wrong.)
Here’s where I get personal: Had my son been born a mere two decades ago, I am guessing that I would probably be a mother of three. Not four. That’s a sobering thought. Technology and advancements in medicine have allowed him to not only survive, but to thrive and far exceed any of the expectations that we were given. Even by Mayo’s standards, George is amazing.
When there are advancements in medicine that saves lives and improves the quality of life for hundreds, or thousands, or millions, we shout from the rooftops and celebrate! As we should.
Yet, those same scientists…those same doctors…those same hands…they can follow the same methods, the same protocols, the same regulations and red tape and years of hard work and trials…but if those advancements are made in our food – well, the reaction is quite different.
Are they not achieving the same goal? Does it not improve the quality of life for others if our food is more nutritionally sound? Does it not save lives if we are able to grow crops where crops always failed before? Does it not make a difference if the diseases in plants that used to destroy thousands of acres can be eliminated?
If we were to find a way to eliminate cancer, would we not celebrate? Yet if we find a way to eliminate a plant disease…we protest?
I’m not saying there isn’t a difference. And I’m not saying that we don’t need to look at technology with a cautious eye and we need to carefully and judiciously move forward. But do not tell me that using technology is not natural.
Let me tell you what is not natural…having to carefully watch what your 4-year-old eats is not natural. Explaining to the parents of his classmates about his condition is not natural. Relying on a powder to provide your basic nutritional needs is not natural.
But burying your child is also not natural.
I realize that my exposure to technology is vastly different from most people. And for that, I am grateful. I have traveled down a road that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. But right now we’re on the other side, and it’s pretty sweet.
And I thank technology and science…and God…for that.