• Patrick McAndrew

The Boy And The Book by Alfredo Pupillo

The Low Tech Trek is excited to welcome back guest writer, Alfredo Pupillo!  Alfredo is the owner of HR Business, a consulting organization with a wide variety of service offerings, including humane tech.  Below, he discusses a simple story that had a profound impact on him in the digital age.

“Please walk a few steps, go to your home library, select a book, and sit down in your preferred armchair and simply flow.”

“Then stop.  Touch the book, smell it, take it carefully in your hands and can continue reading, flowing into unexplored territories that are unique to you.”

My mind suddenly got away from the book, away from a deep trance.  A story popped into my head, a story that occurred when we visited friends in El Cerrito in Northern California.

When we arrived at their home, our friends were not there. We saw a postman passing by, and he suggested for us to wait for them in a nearby coffee shop. He informed us that they would be back shortly

When we arrived at the coffee shop, a little library across the street caught my attention.  Immediately, a young boy came outside the library with a book, opened the depository outside the library, put the book inside, and then took another one and left.

With a cup of coffee in my hands, still waiting for my friends, my curiosity inspired me to ask the people in the store what was going on at the library. This wasn’t something I would see often anymore in our technological age. They told me that the community was trying to assist with issues regarding technology addition. They were trying to help the community through a variety of initiatives like outdoor cultural meetings, poetry readings, and book clubs.

I was shocked. Just a few miles from Silicon Valley, the technology mecca of the world, is a little town in Northern California, looking to decrease our time spent on technology?

That afternoon, after visiting my friends, we went back to our hotel in San Francisco. That night, my head was processing the day and, in a few days, we came back home.

For some reason, my mind kept going back to those quiet streets in the little town in Northern California. I took one of my books, touched its beautiful pages, held my cup of tea and thought for a while. I was formerly a member of a book club and thought about what a treasure it was. Why not build it up again?

Within the next week, we had our first book club meeting. I had my classic hot cup of tea in my hand while looking at all my friends who joined. As I observed the evening, I saw how the book we were discussing transferred from one hand to the other, from Tom’s hands to Pamela’s.  Pamela read. Tom commented. Then Steve read, and Laura commented. All the while, the group was creating silent synergy.

As I reflected, I became thankful to that unknown boy from Northern California who simply dropped off a book and picked up another one. In an indirect way, he inspired this new book club. I shared this experience with the group and suddenly emotions flew and they all began to share their related experiences. The fire lit their stories for hours. My cup of tea definitively got cold, but my heart was feeling warm, all thanks to that boy and that book.

-Alfredo Pupillo

Alfredo Pupillo has been working as a consultant since 2003. He has developed many processes for organizational cultural change, both structural and strategic, focusing on people becoming the protagonists of their own development.  He has also designed the recruitment process for several organizations and is a specialist in hiring.  Pupillo is the owner of HR Business, a consulting organization which offers services in process consulting, talent management, structural design, human sustainability, and, more recently, humane tech.  He holds a graduate degree in Human Resources from the University of Salvador.

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