"taking time"

by dr. susan nettleton

There is more to life than increasing its speed.
— Mahatma Gandhi

As society has become more complex, our expectations of what we must do to survive, let alone thrive, have grown. At the same time, technology has reinforced the delusion that action can and should produce instantaneous results.   Initially, the promise of the instantaneous through technology seems like a happy solution to the burdens of daily life.  We can send a message and have it received on the other side of the planet in seconds.  We can post a comment that can be seen by virtually hundreds, thousands simultaneously in minutes.  We can submit a critical document with the same immediacy.  Yet, our “to do list” crowds the 24 hour day and the collective illusion of the instantaneous only creates more that needs to be done.  Time has been compressed by the demand for more.  Not all of life adjusts to this kind of speed.  There are some things that simply take time.  Not every problem can be assessed by a survey.  Not every answer can be found in a split-second search engine.  Not every wound can be healed by the zap of a laser.  Not every feeling can be understood by public declaration on social media.  Not every choice can be decided today.  And genuine satisfaction is still experienced in the slow savoring of life’s beauty and wonder.