Programming is important to me because it provides way to break down and solve a problem - any problem - in a methodical way. We've used computer programs to help defeat disease, put classes online, and enjoy digital entertainment. And it's all thanks to pioneers such as Ada Lovelace, widely regarded as the first computer programmer.
Ada worked with the famous inventor Charles Babbage on the theory behind his not-yet mechanical computer. She wrote an algorithm for a numerical computation technique. She was also the first person that we know of to see computers as tools to be used beyond number crunching - namely, music. She mentioned that the math behind music notes made it apt for a computer to handle.
You don't need to be a techie to learn the basics of programming, since it provides a great approach to problem solving. Many schools, offline and online, offer the basics. Check out codeacademy.com for starters.