Society & Lifestyle
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The Price of Busyness – Must We Pay It?
|by Shernaz Wadia|
The internet with its phenomenal speed has shortened the distance between any two points in the world. It brings strangers together, has the distinction of match-making, saves one from face-off embarrassments. You name it and it can be done, with alacrity, anonymity, zeal.
The question is: Has it brought people closer? Does it cement relationships or does it mostly lead to superficial profession, work – and business – oriented contacts?
There is this class-mate of mine who had caught up with me a decade after we left school. Then began a long period of snail-mail correspondence. Sometimes we were quick to reply, at times one or the other went into hibernation for months. But we always continued from where we had left off. Our letters used to be long, entertaining, interesting, intellectually stimulating and something both of us looked forward to with enthusiasm. Suddenly, we were out of touch for almost four years. Our lives went on. We thought of each other but didn't bother to resume correspondence till he recently located and contacted me again through this wondrous web. We were both elated, looking ahead to resume our mind enriching correspondence.
Guess what? Our e-mails have sadly dwindled to one a week at the most; we are either apologizing for paucity of time to devote to meaningful communication or discussing the cursory state of affairs in our lives. How much sadder can it get that one way or another we all fall victim to the demands of mundane living!
Every time I go online there is a friend or a casual acquaintance available to chat... provided I initiate the dialogue. Even then, the words 'I have been very busy', 'I am worked to the bones', 'I have no time to breathe', crop up and I have to say "okay, I'll let you go. Catch up with you some other time." That other time rarely comes because I do not like to intrude upon people who don't have a few minutes to spare for personal relationships. The rare exceptions who still make time to converse between sending mails, updating a webpage or organizing an important presentation, are the feel-good factor in this fast dwindling art of maintaining relationships. My deep gratitude to such uncommon friends. Thank you for being who you are.
We have all turned into blind mice, lured by the flute of pushy Pied Pipers of the commercial and corporate world. Our needs, our ambitions, aspirations, dreams, even our spirituality, are all directed by this obtrusive army of dictators. Bubbly youngsters of some years back, with world-transforming dreams, are today undifferentiated from the rat-pack. From wake up time till they drop exhausted into bed their day is one blurry dash of assignments, appointments, projects; eyes glued to monitors/watches and phones stuck to their ears. They are denied the luxury of time to enjoy the drive to and from work, their meals, their friends or relationships. The only time they are forced to relax is after power-pushing burns them out and they have to stop. How much better if only they would slow down when they should.
We even thrust our children unrelentingly in this mindless charge of the attainment brigade, for nothing worthwhile. Not worthwhile, because in today's world the biggest accomplishments come with the priciest tags. Childhood, youth, values, ethics, relationship with one's own self, fun, recreation, health, the very joy of living – is what today's achievement smitten life-style exacts.
We need to reinforce the value of slowing down; of taking time to breathe and enjoy the free but invaluable gifts life and nature have bestowed on us. Let us not take any moment for granted; we do not know what span has been allotted to us from the cradle to the grave. Let us not hurtle through life without really relishing its measures of joy in simple things; let us not always put career opportunities ahead of our loved ones...we may be left alone to weep over their coffins. Significant choices, not haste and speed should govern the directions of our lives. Imagine the chaos if the earth suddenly decided that it simply had to surge ahead from season to season to season, not at its measured orbital velocity, but, at breakneck speed in silly competition with some other celestial orbs!
Life is for living, not for beating the clock or outsmarting other rats in a race. Let us learn to slow down, stand back and tune in to our inner selves. Let us open up to nature's words of wisdom; let us lend our ears to its transporting music; let us reserve unstinting time for our near and dear ones. Before it is too late. Before we go or are left ruing the words we did not say, wishing we could turn back the clock. For ourselves, our children and those friends and loved ones who ache for a loving moment with us.
|More by : Shernaz Wadia|
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Comments on this Article
01/11/2011 10:58 AM
d.om prakash narayan
01/11/2011 10:36 AM
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