I was at the birthplace of the mighty internet; listening to the tour guide on how ‘WWW’ was born in 1989 near a small town in Geneva where we now reside. I wondered if the scientists then knew of the tremendously game changing effects of this on the world, on each and every one of our lives. This advance in new technology made things possible at the speed of lightening, unseen progress in many fields came to light – as a result a very tight-woven globe in every aspect bringing each of us closer and very accessible, no matter the distance!
Now you would’ve thought this would simplify things, make day to day life easier, chores quicker so that we have more quality time to really live our lives. However, what it has done for some reason, together with many other advancements, is put our lives on almost a fast forward!!
With all modes of instant chatting available we are more accessible, so we are expected or we think we are expected to do everything. There is almost a double life, another being online, at times the latter taking over!! And there is no satisfaction. After we do everything, then comes more!! People are or seem busier than ever. There is even a sense of glorification in being busy! Our minds a constant treadmill, our feet marching from one step to another, our hands tap tapping our phones which has literally the world at our fingertips. Holidays too, somewhat a breather, still not so, as with our phones we yet again have everything and unable to really ‘escape from it all’!!
So this kind of has turned us into speed-loving, multi-tasking busy bees who actually do not have time to smell the roses, literally and manifold metaphorically. People crisscrossing, some with the routine questions not earnestly expecting answers, and in return people with half-hearted answers. In the worst case, this translates into rare meaningful connections.
Then comes children, whose birth do in away makes time stand still. But then, again we easily slide back into or more so, crazy chaotic confusions!! Wanting to perfect life, and wanting to do it all, not letting any “little things” get in the way, we buzz about in the usual day-to-day. As a mom of two little ones, l have my work cut out for me and this does not necessarily stop for holidays, rather increases as every summer reminds me! It is exhausting but as every mom would know and feel in every atom of their bodies, it really is the best!
One of my favourite times of the day is tucking our 5-year-old in bed as he comes out with little gems of words that just quietens my heart and stills my mind, albeit for a little while. Like “I will choose you as my Mama everyday” or “if you could come into my head Mama, you will see how much I love you…”. Or “Mama, I want to make you happy in this world, and when we are out of this world”!!
The other day though, he made my heart skip a beat, not in a good way. “My least favourite thing in the whole wide world is when you rush me Mama! I do not like it, one bit!!”.
This reminded me of one gem I took from a parents’ meeting at the Montessori – that of things running on slow motion in a child’s mind. Their world is S-L-O-W! In fact, we all start slow before we get pushed into this fast forward!
So I cannot even imagine the clash of these worlds or rhythms; or maybe I can, with how impatient I get and how annoyed my son gets, when nudged to do things faster or how frustrated my son gets when I am not really listening, with my mind on eternal to-do-list mode.
As much as I want my children to respect time, master a schedule and fit into a rhythm, with my son’s plea in bed, I totally understood the need to slow down. We have to – for the sake of our kids and for our own selves. What we take for granted, be it weather, health, youth, our kids’ time and attention, will not be there tomorrow. Day-to-day to-do-lists will!! We need to master time and technology and not the other way around. We need to master work, so that it’s only a means to a living. And master with diligence of respecting life, precious life which can too be taken away at the speed of lightening.
As much as we have to get the necessities of life in order, we do have a fight ahead of us, a fierce fight against this aimless race. One friend said recently, after his father’s passing away, life is like a movie; we have to enjoy it whilst we watch it and then, when it’s the end, it’s the end.
Well then, I say, we have to play slow motion or even pause once in a while or often as you can, to breathe in life. To breathe in this beautiful life surrounding us, right in front of our eyes, out of which we take nothing when we depart.