I am constantly concerned about the amount of technology I daily ingest. I received the following information from some of my Dutch friends. It causes me to reflect on where my thoughts are occupied. Here's the email: "Our Life Today"
Even een kopje koffie
drinken met vrienden . Have coffee with
storen, ik ben aan het bestuderen.. Do not
bother me I am studying
restaurant . In the restaurant
we genieten van het museum . Let us enjoy the
gezellig met mijn zoon. I want to be together
with my son. .
Een avondje met
vrienden. An evening
VAKANTIE! Wonderful. Holidays.
partij in het stadion! A game .
uit met z'n tweeën. An evening
out with the two of us.
thuis.At home for the
naar het strand! To the beach!!!
Kom, we gaan met de
us take the car.
met de familie Family
ouders hadden niet veel tijd voor mij. My
parents did not have time for
mankeert er nog aan....! Is this the
Einstein zijn profetische
vrees de dag waarop technologie de mens
Albert Einstein said: "I
fear the day in which technology rules
I agree with so much of what Nicholas Carr says in his book about how the Internet is changing the way we think.
The Internet has splintered my thinking and my attention
span. I think in snippets, and I jump around in my reading. I am less patient
than before, because now I can find essentially any information on any topic in
a matter of moments on the Internet. That immediacy does not allow time for
reflective, deep, or complex thought.
Internet, I used to read more books and I was physically much more active. Now
I often sit on my can and whittle away my time on mindless cyber searches.
remote controls, I used to have to get up and change the channel manually,
personally. And back then we only had about five channels. Now I flit from
channel to channel, often spending more time hunting for something interesting
to watch instead of actually watching something.
Before the shuffle
function on iTunes, I used to listen to albums in order, in their entirety. Now
I only listen to songs. Gone are the days of listening to an entire album as a
phones, I used to enjoy solitary time where I could do an activity without physical
or mental interruption. Now I feel leashed to elsewhere at all times. My
ability to plan in advance is also diminishing, because I can simply phone
whomever to inform them of my oft-changing plans.
Before texting, I used to interact with
people face-to-face. Now we bow our heads and face a screen.
of this has made me a more superficial, uncreative, flabby, unreflective
Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are fullof passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand; A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Sometimes I feel very oppressed to say what I truly feel. On the other hand, that is probably a good thing. Much of what I feel or think is fleeting, anyway, and if said would only hurt and cause regret.
I tire when people constantly harangue my culture, my religion, my ethnicity, my beliefs, my practices. There needs to be more acceptance, more tolerance, more zipped mouths. To think it is one thing; to say it is another, and those words, once spoken, are very difficult to take back. Makes me think I need to keep my mouth shut more often too.
I had the occasion to teach the young men today, and our topic was "Faith in Jesus Christ." Part of our lesson was to read and discuss the fight between David and Goliath. In 1 Samuel 17:40, we read that David picked up five smooth stones to use with his sling.
We discussed the rest of the story. I wanted to apply it to our lives, equating Goliath to any challenge or obstacle we face. Spontaneously I asked our bishop about his work with members who face "Goliaths," or in other words, challenges or obstacles. I asked him: What is the difference between those members who successfully overcome their challenges versus those who don't? His answer: the successful ones do five things:
1) study the scriptures daily
2) pray daily
3) attend church regularly
4) attend the temple regularly
5) hold Family Home Evening regularly
On the spot, it came together in my mind. The five smooth stones David picked up have symbolic significance. They can represent the five things the bishop mentioned that help members overcome challenges or obstacles. If we are to conquer our Goliaths, we need those five stones in our pouch.
This was a spiritual experience for me. Unplanned for. Unanticipated. Wonderful.