Tactics for Tough Times: Take time to think
There’s concern we’re googling more and thinking less. When an answer is an easy mouse click away, we don’t need to do the hard work of thinking through an answer ourselves.
With an increasing amount of information being offered through an unending array of choices, we tend to become numb to it all. We can be lulled into a catatonic state by the information assaulting us. Psychologists call this a “narcotizing dysfunction”. There won’t be much we don’t know, its just that no one will be thinking about it. We’ll be too doped up on superfluous information to care.
The ability to think deeply about the information of our lives and discern what requires our attention involves mindfulness. Mindfulness is a preconditioned state of acute awareness. It doesn’t happen instantly but takes deliberate practice over time. There are two ways to hone our ability to think and be aware:
- Contemplate. The Greek word for “leisure” is “scole”. It is the root for the English words “school” and “scholarship”. In other words, the Greeks believed learning was a leisurely pursuit with unencumbered time to explore a subject deeply. It was understood not as idleness, but as time spent in exploration and conversation around an idea. The best way to learn anything, and learn it deeply, was to the have the time to do it. Ask any teacher today if his/her classroom is a place of leisure and they’ll look at you like you’re crazy. The educational endeavor in schools is too tense to get a whole lot out of it.
- Resonate. I biked 120 miles with my college buddies shortly after graduation. We would align ourselves tightly behind the wheel of the rider in front of us to conserve energy by drafting. Every once and a while one of us would veer out of the alignment. It was dangerous. We came up with a way to help deal with it. We would yell to the person in front of us to, “hold your line, big fella!”. I guess you had to be there. Anyway, this world is desperate for people who hold the line, those who are unwavering in their commitment to virtue and integrity. To resonate is to take the time to align the deepest values to the totality of who you are. It takes time to develop and calibrate an harmonious inner and outer self. In this chaotic morass of change we find ourselves in, its more important than ever to be a resonated person that can help get us through.
What are some contemporary barriers you see to contemplation and resonation? What are some ways we can take time to do both? Comment here>>