Letter from Justin McClain ’01 | Spanish and Religion Teacher
As I type this, using a word processing system (which would have been inconceivable just a few decades ago), I remain impressed by the numerous technological innovations that have taken place over the last few decades. This technology has made wondrous improvements within modern society, including medicine, communication, and transportation, among others. Nevertheless, more impressive is the extent of good that humanity is capable of, either with or without the presence of technology. Mozart didn’t have an iPhone application to help refine his exceptionally complex music. Shakespeare didn’t have a PC to write Romeo and Juliet. Harriet Tubman didn’t use Facebook to organize the Underground Railroad during the strife of slavery. In order for a society to truly prosper, critical thought, along with the more important embrace of wholesome ethical principles, must always be in place. Humanity should remain in charge of technology, not technology in charge of humanity.
As a Religion and Spanish teacher, I teach within the realm of the humanities (academic fields encompassing such classical studies as theology, literature, language arts, philosophy, history, art, music, and other areas). The humanities study the full breadth of the human experience. As you high school students prepare to enter the ‘world’ upon graduation, think about how you can use the wealth of knowledge that you’ve acquired within the humanities, as well as within the likewise crucial fields of mathematics and science (including technology), to improve the world. With the Catholic principles that you’ve received here at McNamara, you can contribute to humanity positively, always in the hope of bringing greater glory to the Lord. As we reflect on the technological advancements that will continue to come in the 21st century, we would do well to remember the words of musician Stevie Wonder: “We can’t lose with God on our side.”