As I write, I am sitting in the rain on my deck contemplating life, death and thanks to my brother’s blog, dinosaurs. I feel slightly guilty. I should be being more productive. But wait, it’s after 8 p.m. Why do I feel the need to be productive at 8 p.m.? (And why does the period after the m in p.m. look wrong next to the question mark? Is that correct?)
Anyhow, I want to say something about the insanely fast pace of Western culture. Perhaps other cultures are fast paced also. Having not had the opportunity to travel, I cannot say firsthand. I am told that other cultures are more relaxed.
I feel that the pace of our lives has begun to seep into our ability to reason. It seems a quick lifestyle has translated to the need for a quick answer. To EVERYTHING. Sorry. Shouting is uncalled for. Plus it harshes my back porch vibe.
The scenario goes like this: person A reads a Twitter post that sounds ‘off’. Said person immediately replies with scathing witt. Dumpster fire starts. Nobody is happy. No one changes their mind. No one discovers a new perspective.
What if we did this another way? What if person A read the post and thought “How odd that someone sees life so differently from me. I must ponder this, look deeper, try to imagine myself with their life experiences.” What if this person asked respectful clarifying questions? What if ‘A’ said thank you for your perspective? Let me share mine.
I know, it will never catch on. Why? Because it simply takes too long and our lives are too busy.
We will never be thoughtful human beings as long as we are in a hurry. This is not a new concept. The book of James tells us that
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
Our fast flying righteous indignation will not make the world right. It won’t even change the views of the source of our ire or stem the stuff that they spew. If we have any any hope of consensus or even civility we have to slow down. We have to listen to the views of the people who oppose us, think about it honestly and invite them to do likewise.
Will it work? I don’t know. What’s more, I don’t have the time to find out. Neither do you.