“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.”
~ Ecclesiastes 1:9; HCSB Digital Text Edition.
“All of this has happened before and all of it will happen again”
~Battlestar Galactica (The Reimagined Series)
Hi! The very first thing that I want to say today is that I sincerely doubt that anything that I will say below has not been said by someone else already (see the two quotes above).
Moreover, in all honesty, this post is an attempt at self-therapy, but if it can help anyone else, I will be very happy…
DISCLAIMER: I’m no psychologist, I do not have the professional training to act as a counselor. There.
Well, here goes.
We are living in a rather fast-paced society, which is wonderful and terrifying at the same time.
Our internet culture, our 24-hour news cycle, and the e-mail/messaging instantaneous nature among other factors, are wonderful conditions to do research for a project, to find information (of various degrees of quality). Also, for many of us, the internet is one of the main sources of connection with other human beings. In these lines, I have remarked in a previous post how great it is to meet like-minded people, and how cool it is to make friendships with other souls that I will likely never meet in person.
Yes, these are all really good things.
Of course, for a significant fraction of us, the fast pace of our society, the internet, etc., are also significant sources of acute anxiety. Thay can also cause among many other things, a marked decrease in mental concentration, with everything that it entails, and in my particular case, I feel that I am losing an ability that was very close to my heart, which is the ability to enjoy, to really savor, reading. I am talking about:
*Readings that make you think, meant to be read slowly to be properly understood…
*Books… Oh my dear books, I really do miss you! I used to be able to go to a library or to a bookstore or even at my own house and lose myself reading for a couple of hours. Not anymore, and I want that back!
Can I tell you guys a secret? A couple of weeks ago I forgot my smartphone at home. It was **THE** most relaxing day. Why? Well…
*No out of the office email-checking (I am one of those people who just have to answer them right away)…
*No social media (nothing posted and therefore no anxiety over who “liked”, “favorited”, etc. whatever I posted)…
*No texting (jay!)…
And, I was able to be as productive (if not a little bit more productive) in my work. The most important thing though, is that I kind of re-experienced a long-forgotten joy of learning. It’s not that I have stopped learning, but rather, that learning things on that day gave me pleasure. I truly have half a mind of ditching the smartphone and get a simple mobile phone, just voice and texting, so that I can be reached in case of an emergency. I’ll keep you posted on this thought.
Anyway, it may be a good idea to…
Slow down. Most likely the world will not collapse if you do not answer a non-emergency email or a text message within 30 seconds of receipt. Of course, if you work in a hospital emergency room, or if you are an emergency first-responder of any kind, they have other ways to reach you. (:-)
Slow down. Enjoy your reading. You do not have to apply what you learn immediately. Moreover, who says that you have to learn anything every single time you read? It is ok to read for pleasure. Really, it is ok.
Slow down. Neither you or me will have time to read “all the books in the world”. That makes me sad, but it is a reality. Also, please re-read the point above.
Slow down. If you are writing a message, take your time. Think about what you wrote before hitting “send”. Trust me, I wish I’d done that sometimes…
Slow down. If you feel the need to post something on social media, well, go ahead, there’s nothing wrong with that. But does it actually matter whether anyone in the world at large “likes” your personal opinions? Even more importantly, if these “likes”, etc., are important to you, do you need to know that, well, this very second? Furthermore, only you know the identities of the people whose opinion of your thoughts matter to you. Does this make sense?
Slow down. Take the time to listen to a good podcast. It helps develop concentration (at least to me).
Slow down. Try your hand at writing, even if no one will ever see what you write. Trust me, it’ll be worth a try. In the spirit of full disclosure, I will eagerly wait for your “likes”, “favorites”, and comments (just kidding… kind of… (:-)…)
Slow down. Talk to a loved one (preferably through non-electronic means). And actually listen.
Slow down. In these lines, if you have children, talk to them. The time spent with them is never a waste.
Slow down. Also, if you have a significant other, talk to him or her. The time spent with she or he is never wasted time either.
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