Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Time, there was a time...

There's something strange happening with the concept of time. Things are changing at a faster rate. This trend was first flagged in the seventies by Alvin and Heidi Toffler, futurists and authors of the book "Future Shock". The idea in the seventies was that things were changing so fast, more and more people were unable to keep up with the changing times. Remember: this is before the advent of computers, let alone a world wide web.

In recent research Richard Wiseman, author of Quirkology compared the speed at which people walked, in different city's. It was a follow up from research that was done 10 years earlier and in every location people had stepped up their walking speed by at least 10%. We are literally moving faster than ever. In spite of mindfulness movements and meditation becoming more prevalent, we are speeding up.

The analogy with the life of a human being seems apt. When we're young a summer day can last almost forever, the hot summer nights of puberty seem much longer than sitting down at night after putting the children to bed. Time speeds up by perspective alone, 1 year at 20 is 5% of your life while at 50 it's down to 2% of your life. But there's more to it than that.

Another thing that makes time seem to last longer for the young is the level of interest they bring to what they are doing. They are doing a lot of things for the very first time, living it intensely. That first kiss lasted a lot longer it seems than the goodnight kiss you gave your partner tonight, didn't it? When in effect, in terms of clock-time it may have been of equal length.

Mindfulness and meditation aren't enough to turn the tide, if indeed the tide needs turning. Perhaps more and more people are unable to keep up with the changing times, but it may be that we don't need to grow and change all that much. Maybe the latest I-pod or the newest blackberry don't have any appeal except for the very young. Maybe they will grow faster and faster, to keep up with the things that are happening. Certainly the incidence of ADHD and Indigo Children seems to indicate that something is evolving.

How okay can you be with growing older? With not keeping up with the latest trends and not knowing what a flashmob is or how to create one? How much can you enjoy the benefits of growing older? The feel of your aging skin? How wonderful to live and not be that pimply, insecure youngster needing all these playthings to be okay, to feel like they're with the in-crowd.
Celebrate aging
I love new stuff, I love to read how they have invented a portable dvd-player and a Wii so children can play at the computer without going obese. I love that they are winning energy through osmosis from the places where sweetwater meets the salty. I like to stay informed and I twitter and (obviously) blog. I don't need any of these things to feel good about myself though. That's what aging does: It shows you how relative these things are to your personal mission and your happiness.

I have given myself permission to not keep up with the times. I pick and choose, those things that are fun and interesting, I run with, like blogging and twitter. The things that I don't feel add to my overall well being or my mission in life, I give a pass. This has made my life a lot simpler. I don't need half as much stuff, in fact I've made it a habit to give my excess stuff away twice a year. It also means I don't need to sell as much of my time for money. This gives me ample time to spend on the things in life that I find enjoyable. It also leaves me with plenty of time to do something meaningful for the world, which in the final analysis gives me the most satisfaction and joy.

No comments:

Post a Comment