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Julia Matheson

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the paradox of our time

slowdownlifeI find travelling the perfect time for reflection.

With travel comes time away from my every-day life, time to just be. No commitments, no appointments, nowhere to rush to, or work to get done. It’s a golden time that we don’t often get in our busy daily lives.

You may have already read the piece below floating around in cyber-space, but I encourage you to re-read it. See what fresh new perspectives come to you today. I have been thinking about many of these aspects since being away, and wanted to share it with you . . .

The paradox of our time in history is that
We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but have less. We buy more, but enjoy it less.
We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time;
We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment;
more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little,
drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired,
read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life.
We’ve added years to life, not life to years.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back,
but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.

We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space.
We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice.
We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.
We plan more, but accomplish less.
We write more, but learn less.
We build more computers
to hold more information
to produce more copies than ever,
but have less communication.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion;
tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships.
These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare;
more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.
These are days of two incomes, but more divorce;
of fancier houses, but broken homes.
These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw-away morality,
one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do
everything from cheer to quiet, to kill.

Every time I read this, it causes me to stop and think about my lifestyle, and the way our society has evolved.

We have greater progression, more information and faster technology – all designed to improve our lives. Yet while we receive many benefits, what are the hidden costs we pay?

I certainly identify some of my personal demons in this piece, and as I read it, I am reminded to slow down and take note of the important things in my life – my values, the person I choose to be, time in nature, my health (both physical and mental), and my relationships with others.

I am also reminded of my purpose behind the work that I do – by this line in particular: ‘We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life.’

What do these words highlight for you?

What are some of the high costs you pay for the way you choose to live? Think about areas of your life you are neglecting, or things you are currently missing out on.

Perhaps from this, you realise there is a shift you need to make in your current lifestyle.  What are you committed to changing?

And from this shift, what are the benefits you look forward to reaping?

What do you have to gain by letting something go?


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