The Whole World in Our Hands

He\’s Got the Whole World in His Hands\” was a traditional American spiritual song that was widely popularized in 1958, becoming the number one most played song in the USA.

I remember back in the days I would sing along, the words were purely imaginative and out of reach. But now, we literally do have the entire whole world in our hands.

Last month, I was privileged to be handpicked from thousands of applicants to participate in a youth forum hosted by African Youth who have a vision of transforming societies and enhancing social and economic sustainable development in their respective countries through entrepreneurship and innovation; this conference brought together young African leaders and prominent business leaders.

Charles Sam, CEO of Golden Future promotions was one of these prominent Business men who had addressed us. In his key note speech, he urged the youth to work hard, to be effective and produce good results’; to think globally and advance our respective countries.  He then went on to say “You’ve got the whole world in your hands”. This sentence really struck me. In the context of his speech, he meant to say that youth have the potential to be change agents and to dictate our fate. But then I looked around the room and noticed that all of us in the room had in our hands our Samsung Galaxy S4s, our Apple ipads, smart phones and such gadgets. We held in our hands not just a phone, but opportunity. We had the whole world in our hands!

Smart phones offer us flexibility and keep us organized.  With the use of electronic diaries, automatic reminders and contact lists we can multitask and stay on top of our duties. We have at our finger tips information. We can access maps, news coverage, weather reports and much more. Using smart phones more data can be received and transmitted. We can download attachments, send emails and stay connected. We communicate effectively, efficiently and are never out of touch.

William G. Gates invented the slogan \”Information at your fingertips\”. This, he said, means a new generation of computer software that is able to give you any information you need with just a few keystrokes, no matter if it is a text, a picture, a table, a chart –  virtually all information stored in your computer should then be within easy reach of the user. Therefore, there is no excuse for ignorance. There is nothing that we cannot find or do. Humanity has progressed from the agricultural revolution towards an information revolution. We all use information technology in all aspects of our lives, be it communication, banking, trading, entertainment, learning or teaching. This piece of technology we hold in our hands has extended our minds and our intellectual power.

But we must go beyond this frame of thought. We need to ask ourselves what is the value of having information at our finger tips? We must go beyond simply holding a smart phone or holding opportunity in our hand.  We must unleash it, excavate it.  When opportunity comes knocking, there are two types of people. The first are waiters who sit around and wait, whilst the others are makers who make use of opportunities. We need to be makers, we need to bring opportunity come to us and use what is at our disposal, at our finger tips to realize opportunity. This is when we can say, we have the whole world in our hands, and we are actually doing something about it!