The Skinny – Amy Brunell

Living in Exponential Times —

We live in a time where information is being garnered and put out at supersonic speed. We literally cannot keep up with the outflow of information now available. We must slow down and deliberately pay attention to how this information stream is affecting our lives and our children’s lives. How can we navigate without being sucked under? How can we manage without feeling incompetent? How can we maintain balance and avoid being overwhelmed?

I was at a national camp conference in Palm Springs a couple of weeks ago. One key note speaker named Bob Ditter, spoke about living in times where too much is happening too quickly. We are being bombarded literally with so much coming at us all at once.

Here are some of the key points Mr. Ditter made:

3000 books a day are published.

What children are learning in school now is for jobs that have not been invented yet.

Some of what young people are learning in college will be obsolete by the time they graduate.

Ironically one of my roomies at the conference hotel was reading The Phantom Tollbooth. I’ve never read this book. I’ve meant to, but it never crossed my path in school and I just never read it. I’d still like to read it, but I currently am reading 3 other books and I have several more to jump into after that.

I find that I read mostly at night before bed. On an average night I get 10 to 15 minutes in of reading before I pass out. I rarely read during the day-it seems like a luxury. And yet with only 15 minutes a day towards reading a book, it takes a long time to finish a book. However, I think reading is a huge value to one’s life. It may be amongst the most important ways one can spend their time. So why don’t I do more? With all that demands we encounter of our time, what things garner our attention? What things STEAL our time?

Living in exponential times, how are we going to consciously move forward and manage our learning, time, commitments and our understandings? I have only 24 hours. How will I remain connected with this world we live in? We live in a time unlike any other in history. How do we cope?

I am going to deliberately slow down more. I am choosing how I spend my time with more thoughtful pacing and understanding of my limited energy capacity. I’m not going to race but instead choose to remain steady in both a productive and physically healthy space.

The more I write, the clearer I become. The more I play guitar and sing, the more joy resonates within me. The more I give myself time to read and reflect, the more I can use that towards helping myself and helping others.

I cannot read anywhere near all the books I want to. I’m really starting to see that I have to trust the Universe that the books I need to read are available to me, and in these lightening paced times, I actually have to grieve the idea that not all the books I want to read will be read.

I have to give up the idea that I can keep up with all that’s out there. I asked the other attendees at the conference what Pinterest was? When they explained it to me, this program/app/whatever, it sounded interesting, but honestly it also sounded like a potential vortex to suck away more time from something I really do find important i.e. reading. So what will I choose? Yes I am a bit behind the technology thing, but honestly…is that important…to keep up?

I’m not behind in the understandings of the human heart and soul. Clearly, those studies are truly what interests me and keeps me engaged in my heart. The study of how humans work consistently fascinates me and keeps me feeling alive and connected to myself and others. A computer or an app never did that.

www.culvercitysymphony.org

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