Giving Back and Good Karma

“No man who continues to add something to the material, intellectual and moral well-being of the place in which he lives is left long without proper reward.”

Booker T. Washington

I know this is primarily a technology related blog, but lately I’ve been thinking about some of the influences and turning points in my life.  I’ve always known that I have reached where I am because of friends, colleagues, and folks who just were doing something nice.  But is rather interesting to actively stop and think about people and things that have had a major part in helping become who I am.  It’s also good to think about how I’m doing at repaying these folks by helping others like they did for me.

My first director of technology operations gave me a shot at being a junior system administrator. A good friend gave me responsibilities beyond my experience at the time. I wrote a rather simple Python script and passed it on to a mailing list, then had several folks on that list share it with others.  As a result, several interesting opportunities were offered to me later.  Someone I met (who became a good friend) at a community group asked me to help him facilitate a training class that I never would have been able to take if he hadn’t.  Those are just a few things that come to mind right now.  I can’t see how these folks got nearly as much as I did out of what they did.

Over the last few years I’ve become involved with several programs that have been a lot of fun for me and, from what I’ve been told, has been really helpful to the participants.  My favorite is still the CyberPatriot program.  For those not familiar with the program, its where middle school to high school students learn about computer security and compete against each other several times over the course of the year.  The kids are a load of fun to hang out with and can ask some of the craziest questions that you could imagine.  It’s really quite refreshing to feed off of their enthusiasm.  I’ve already been able to see some of them get internships and jobs based off their experiences in CyberPatriot!  Their successes are some of those “paydays” in life that you look back on and grin at.  Will I get anything out of this?  Eh, probably not directly.  About all I hope to get are some new friends, good times and maybe a higher good karma balance in life.

There’s a lot of crap out there in this world.  Look for chances to give others a hand.  It feels good and karma is awesome!  🙂

Jason Wood
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