| Published: December 2, 2010 – 9:03 am
When one is lying almost facedown on the stage at the University of Southern Californiaâ€™s Bovard Auditorium, the audience appears to be flying sideways. I had this view recently during a lecture I was giving when I passed out there, apparently from fatigue and mild food poisoning. If youâ€™re at home and you feel sick, you lie down. If youâ€™re onstage and you feel sick, you fall over.
I am gratified by all the good wishes from students and concerned fans. Please note: the students who came to my aid were attentive, thoughtful, and gracious. The medical professionals who looked me over were expert, efficient, and treated me with excellent greenroom-furniture-side manner.
I am perhaps not as concerned as many of your readers, who felt the students should have done more to help me more quickly than they did. Although my presentation is intended to do nothing less than inspire my audience members to change the world, it is generally considered funny…on purpose. So when students found me down and talking from the floorboards, Iâ€™m sure some thought it was part of making a serious point. In a few moments, the eventâ€™s student organizers did indeed come to my aid. They did indeed provide very appropriate and very thoughtful assistance.
As a public figure and minor celebrity, I can assure you that having 1200 strangers run toward you when youâ€™re sick is not appealing. The audience members were respectful; they waited for me to continue. While they waited, they sent messages, as is their wont – instead of rushing to payphones to pass the news as people of my fatherâ€™s generation would have done.
With all this, I predict weâ€™re in a phase. In a few years, people will learn to reduce their message sending, the same way many of us have learned not to answer the phone during dinner. Technology enriches our lives. Iâ€™m hoping the students of today will embrace the nearly instantaneous electronic communication that modern mobile technology enables, and use it to make things better â€“ in short, to change the World.