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The world is changing. We are more connected with one another than at any other point in human history. Woven in to the digital fabric of the modern age, we are like strands of satin in a vast sheet. Our lives playing out as a sequence of one’s and zero’s, repeating for what will surely be forever, until suddenly it stops.
These days, I find myself equally frightened and humbled by the immense power held between my fingertips. This golden glass; this seeing stone. It connects me to all things past, present, and future and holds the world for ransom. It scares me to think how, in a world so closely connected, it feels like we are more alone than ever. More isolated. More anti-social. More suspicious.
Not long ago, we spent our days working together for survival. We lived in small communities where each person had a defined role; a purpose. But now, in the age of instant access, the global community, we no longer know where we fit in or where we belong. We may have outsmarted the natural order, but in doing so, we’ve discovered that it’s lonely at the top.
We crave a sense of belonging, a feeling of acceptance, and it drives us to invest foolishly in indulgence. A society built on flimsy opinions, with an over-emphasis on the merits of material wealth. We have become little more than cogs in a clock. So fundamentally important and yet, we still just watch the time pass us by. Distracted, over-worked, and under-played, we build handcuffs with our habits and prisons with our networks. We forsake the moment for the hour and forget to live in it. Our attention is split a thousand ways and at any given moment we are bought, sold, upgraded, traded-in, liked, favorited, and forgotten. We are fragmented; incomplete. We are Generation: Anxiety, and we generate our own anxiety.
These are the symptoms of a world where time shines like gold & everyone is greedy, and in a fast-forward existence, who has time to breathe? Who has time to feel? There is always work to do but it’s never work on you. And that’s a big part of the problem. We spend so much time working on the dreams of others just to keep afloat, we forget to chase our own dreams. We forget to work on ourselves. All these things add up to weigh us down. A sea of people, sinking below the surf, left to feel worthless, abandoned, and misunderstood. But there is another way.
Re-focus your mind and breathe-in the moments you have with each other, for they are few and fleeting. Put down your phone and be present. Allow yourself to be vulnerable, but also strong, and strive to treat all beings with respect. Because success in life is not measured in dollars, it’s measured in difference. The difference you make for better or worse in the lives of all things, big or small, smart or dumb, beautiful or ugly.
How we treat each other and how we treat the world, matters. Be kind to yourself and those around you, even if no one is watching because your legacy is not something you can buy or sell. It’s not something you can trade-in, upgrade, or download. It’s not something you can take with you when you go. It’s a gift, given in trust, that lets us know we belong. That we’re not alone. And that feeling, that difference you can make, is something far more valuable than money.