What would you do?
If your computer was hacked, what would you do?
Get angry? Yes! Despair that anyone would choose to inflict such damage? Yes! Curse? Yes, in no uncertain terms!
But engage in a dialogue with the hacker? Surely not. Who would take up that challenge? And what would happen if they did?
Here are two examples of people who did just that – with heart-warming results.
I found the first here. It was written by Nipun Mehta (seen above, with the Dali Lama) who describes himself like this:
‘My life is an attempt to bring smiles in the world and silence in my heart. I want to live simply, love purely, and give fearlessly. That’s me.’
His website, Sacred Space, focuses on ‘small acts of great love that create positive ripples in the world’.
Dialogue with a hacker: Example 1
‘The CharityFocus server was recently hacked — akin to someone breaking into your house, and then leaving you a note about the contents of your most private safe. Hundreds of thousands of users rely on the integrity of our server, so this was, no doubt, an all-hands-on-deck kind of a situation. We decided to write to the hacker directly and explain our mission; sure enough, he wrote back and wanted money. Without skipping a beat, though, we explained that we work on a gift-economy basis … and he actually got it! Subsequently, he even offered to volunteer for CharityFocus to prevent other hackers from breaking in! As you might imagine, we were all rather stunned about the raw power of good.
We actually shared more than a dozen emails back and forth – although he/she was using anonymous/encrypted messaging ….. It was a great learning experience – a hyper-delicate balance between an unflinching commitment to values and yet a deep responsibility of all that was at stake.’
Dialogue with a hacker: Example 2
This second one was posted on the same website by Pancho Ramos Stierle. He reports that the website of eco-philospher, Joanna Macy, was hacked … as the hacker sent out spam from her assistant (Annie) requesting money from her 3,500 contacts!
Google was very slow to respond but when learned of the BAAMplex! Service Space hacker story last year, Annie decided to approach the hacker directly. Fueled by inspiration and moved by love, Annie wrote a moving note and, lo a behold, the person behind the action responded and ultimately returned access to Annie!
Here are some excerpts from Annie’s note: “Dear Brother or Sister Hacker, … I can tell you now that she [Joanna] is 82 years old, a teacher, author and person who has touched the lives of thousands and thousands of people. Have you had a chance to look at her website? […] I want you to know I am not upset with you for what you have done and from my end I don’t even need to pursue anything. I believe in restoration, not retribution. I want you to have the experience of restoring what has been broken, and not punished for what you have done. I understand why you did what you did.” Sister Annie hacked into this brother’s heart. “The heart that breaks open can contain the entire universe.” Indeed! The SS posse paying-forward the kindness (R)evolution.