A Research Paper created by created by Christina Eder
(Spirituality Coaching, UNITED STATES)
We are so involved in what must be done that we have no time to do what we will to do. Leo Buscaglia
If we surveyed 1000 people, asking them for a definition of a luxurious gift, chances are there would be 1000 ideas. Some anticipated answers may be a new sports car, waterfront property, vacations, fine dining, jewelry, or designer clothes. Would the gift of reflection be included in those survey results?
The process of introspection stands a risk of being masked or even buried under every day survival activities. Dr. Richard Swenson, in his book called Margins, refers to the conditions of modern-day living as ‘margin devouring.’ “Many people can relate to living in a culture that rewards busyness and overextension as signs of importance. We add so much to our schedules that we have no margin, no space for leisure and rest and family and God and health” (Smith, 2009). People begin to show signs of physical strain when there is little down time in their schedule. Irritability, tiredness, forgetfulness, or living with less joy can be caused by long periods of noise and restlessness. When a person steps away from people or technology for a time of reflection, there is then no one to impress, no one’s opinion, no image to live up to, or down to.
Author and motivational speaker Leo Buscaglia offers insight regarding natural human behavior. “Often, man is so taken up with what others believe or will think or say, that he stops listening to what he believes, thinks or says” (Buscaglia, 1982). As people create an internal resume based on life experiences, core values, and various educational components, other people’s approval can become a shaping tool to formulate opinions. The two weave together and after time, it is difficult to see where someone else’s brand overlaps or takes over their own. People begin to reflect less, and gradually coast into cruise control, allowing a cloned imposter to emerge based on an eagerness to fit comfortably into a particular culture. If some people paid as much attention to their inner quiet time as they do their yard or garden, they may find they are living in a weed patch. Healthy plants fully bloom when they are regularly tended. I tried to fix this to communicate what I think you are trying to say.
This is an era where there is unlimited access to knowledge. A Facebook visit provides a plethora of what others think about a particular topic. The latest development of community news and breaking stories worldwide are live streamed. How much of this physical information is used for personal transformation? Schedules are filled with maximum revolution, but what about reflection on internal resolution? Through the process of stillness, and taking the time to reflect on conversations and experiences, people can draw a wealth of insight from meditation. Just as farmers cyclically let portions of their land lay fallow to give the soil a season to restore, a person benefits from taking regular intervals of introspection to renew their being.
Economist and writer Jeremy Rifkin notes, “We are a nation in love with speed. We drive fast, eat fast, make love fast. We are obsessed with breaking records and shortening time spans. We digest our life, condense our experiences, and compress our thoughts. It is ironic that in a culture so committed to saving time we feel increasingly deprived of the very thing we value…despite our alleged efficiency, we seem to have less time for ourselves and far less time for each other. We have quickened the pace of life only to become less patient. We have become more organized but less spontaneous, less joyful” (Smith 2009). Instead of throwing in the pessimistic towel over current day culture, perhaps the history of the clock and time measurement can shed a new perspective.