Whoa. Slow down, people! Take a moment. We’re living in this society where everything is immediate. We are impulsive. Hasty. Rushed. People make choices and decisions with a swipe of a finger in a fraction of a second. We’re so focused on the “what is next,” that we don’t give the “here and now” a chance to succeed.
The other day, I was in a huge line-up and I just stood there, watching the crowd. There was one boy, on his Instagram, flipping and double-tapping so furiously, so quickly, I couldn't comprehend how he was even really focusing on what he swiped through.
It translates into many age groups. People sit in front of TVs bouncing from channel to channel. Students struggle with sitting and listening for more than 5 minutes because they feed on instant and quick. Drivers erupt into road rage after having to wait 30 seconds for a construction crew. People are annoyed when their bus ride is delayed because some person on crutches is trying to cross the road. Annoyed. Wow. Where is patience? Where is empathy? Does anyone know the true meaning of stop as they roll through intersections, just tapping the brake? It’s no surprise that when a teacher asks a child to stop, they have to repeat themselves many times. It seems that "stop" actually means "pause" for many!
I worry for my kids. Trying to raise them with strong wills and morals, but knowing that people they think are important, may make off-hand, unpredictable decisions at some point and break their hearts. It will happen time and time again. In the online world, everyone seems to be sitting on this perpetual fence, with one foot in the, “I like you right now, world”, but leaning hard into the, “but I’ll keep checking back online to see if I might find someone I like better," world. Even those with high self-esteem feel frantic in having to devise ways of keeping the attention on them. Sometimes in ways they aren't proud of. People don’t wait to hear explanations or give a chance to hear the truth. They've already dismissed and moved on.
I’m hoping people see how damaging this is. I’m not saying you need to stop. Just slow down from time to time. Take a breath and really focus on the things in the moment. You may miss the crazy, amazing, beautiful things if you don’t.