With so much trauma in the World, I took a break from the “new normal” , constant catastrophe, constant “bad” news, 24/7, and attended the Blogher14 conference at the end of July. The keynote speaker, on our last day, was Arianna Huffington, congratulating the women who use their social media skills to Blog or otherwise broadcast their activism. However, though proud of women and their progress, Arianna’s tale was a cautionary tale for all of us.
As a keynote speaker, Arianna Huffington got it right. She not only “touted her new book, “THRIVE””, she supported the concept of slowing down long enough to understand yourself . She personally, stated she learned a hard lesson by moving too fast and failing to take care of herself. This was a cautionary tale she explained and advised, “if you take care of yourself you will have time to take care of the World “.
I was Arianna once, on a smaller scale, running from place to place, very busy, very productive, but always escaping from myself. I can’t say my success in understanding myself and others came over night, but I was willing to change myself for the sake of relationships I held dear. I’ve been partially successful, but even my defeats, have not prevented self growth. Like the lesson of the mirror at Blogher14, I am enough! Though some times I am more then enough, literally and figuratively, I can live with myself and be happy. Can you Dear Reader, slow down enough to look at your self in the mirror and like what you see ?
I am convinced, through the act of slowing down and taking a break to nurture your self, we will eventually save the World from self destruction. It’s time, past time, to take a deep breath and see where you are going. As a person, we can only control ourselves. As humans, our ability to control ourselves is imperfect and will probably always be flawed. However, taking a break to think and cleanse your mind, allowing yourself to feel, whether it’s “good or bad” emotions, will I believe, allow us to understand ourselves and as a bonus, allow us to understand and have empathy for others. Then, we may be able to tune into our world and break through the numbness that consumes so many.
I’ ve travelled our great and wondrous land , I ‘ve sampled the diversity of food and clothing and crafts , along with the wonders of the National Parks landscape. In the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s there were small shops dotting our land and it was special and exciting; an adventure. I remember Georgetown when it was a collection of individual galleries, shops and diverse ethnic restaurants. I miss the diversity. I was at NYU in the 90’s when we discussed the emergence of big box stores but I was ignorant of their impact on Society. Just like I listened to Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger talk about derivatives and exclaim that ” they were weapons of mass destruction”. I was ignorant of their consequences. Too busy running, like a hamster on a wheel.. To darn busy to take the time to understand what I didn’t believe would impact my life. I was ignorant. If you don’t take the time to stop , look , listen and feel, you will live to regret your decision . I think we’ve learned, if we remain ignorant and unaware of our place in this World, we have abrogated choices in life to our detriment. Look at the state of inequality we find ourselves in. We were too busy running to stop the transfer of funds and jobs elsewhere. While we lived our lives, running as fast as we could, our Society changed dramatically and the Middle Class was destroyed, without firing a shot.
Now we’ve seen the outcome of our running and it’s ruining us! It’s stifling our creativity. It’s lacking diversity. America has become a giant mall . When I was in San Jose , California I could have been in Reston, Va .? The town centers were so similar, it was noticeable. It was the same sight when I entered the San Jose convention center, it was familiar, just like the Chicago Convention Center I visited last year. I had nothing to fear, everything was familiar. Almost too damn familiar. It was sanitized,” standard vanilla”, quite lovely but no “color” and no diversity.
This thought brings me back to my original premise, take a break to save yourself and our World. There was an interesting editorial in the NY TIMES Sunday edition, stating, we are right, ” the wealthy have no empathy for the Middle Class plight”, but they can be Re Trained. The hope is they will seek that re-training for their own salvation. Not because I advocate this but because one of their peers, Arianna Huffington, is leading the way. And maybe, just maybe, they will look in their own mirror and see the truth and look forward to being and believing ” I’m enough”!
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/27/opinion/sunday/powerful-and-coldhearted.html But can be retrained.
It’s a relief to know that our brains can be retrained and our behavior can change as well, no matter how old we are. There is hope that with the proper stimulus, “we can all be good enough”. We can develop empathy for ourselves and each other. This feeling may not occur overnight. It takes time and thought to rewire yourself. A first step toward de-stressing occurs when you stop running and take a vacation from the daily grind . Give yourself permission to see yourselves and others without illusions. Then, ” we can all be good enough”. My 2 cents, hoping you’ll continue to follow me for a better tomorrow for yourself and those you love. I promise and I believe, so does Arianna, that we all have the capacity “to be good enough”!
http://nyti.ms/1pI8Y1q Vacation isn’t a luxury. Neither is daydreaming. Don’t skimp.