The Speed of the World
The circumference of the Earth at the equator is 25,000 miles. The Earth rotates in about 24 hours. Therefore, if you were to hang above the surface of the Earth at the equator without moving, you would see 25,000 miles pass by in 24 hours, at a speed of 25000/24 or just over 1000 miles per hour.
Lol, yes! This is exactly how we feel most days, barely hanging on while the world whizzes around. As though we are on a speed track, moving in ever-increasing fast-forward with each new morning. Never enough time for anything!
Okay, but specifically, where are we going and why so fast?
I think it’s a national problem, but we are so close to it, we fail to see it. Fast food, quick reads, instant messaging. We need it all now - or not at all - and the result is . . . well, something less than pretty. We are exhausted and obese. We are depressed. And the list of what we don’t have time for is endless. Religion. Family. Aimless chatter. A good book.
And conversely – adding insult to injury - this very deprivation has resulted in the wretched propagation of “me time.” People, it is everywhere. Our souls are seeped in it. How to make “me time”, what to do with it, how to utilize it, hug it close and keep it keep it keep it to ourselves. We are told continuously that we need to exercise, soul search, beautify ourselves.
Okay, we do, there’s no denying this. But the answer is probably not found in the mirror. The advocacy of “me time” has resulted in an indifferent nation. Coupled with a hurried attitude, it’s disastrous.
Small thought, but, I hope, important. Could we not feed our souls, and indeed, better ourselves, by, first, slowing down, and then, perhaps . . . looking outside ourselves?
What if, somewhere in our sixty to seventy-two hour work week, we made time to shovel the neighbor’s drive? Do homework with our kids instead of telling ourselves that they are better served by learning to do it themselves? What if, at the end of the day, we talked to our spouses? Could we gain more satisfaction than what we find at the bottom of the “me” barrel? We need more empathy, more humor, more philanthropy.
We need more time, but we also need to recognize the gift in each day.
Ah God, is this preachy? I try to avoid that. But I’m in the same boat as everyone I know. I’m TIRED. I’m dieting. Sometimes at the end of the day I am just angry that I didn’t have time to sit down and read even for half an hour.
So, no wizard here, and I’m afraid, no real answers. But I think when I get off work tonight – whether on time or even into overtime – I’m going to actually look at and talk to the people I love.
It’s a start!
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