The times they are a’changin’ and when times are a’changin’, well; people deal differently with change, don’t they? For some, any change is scary and they get confused and concerned and go with the crowd with its wacked mentality.
For others it’s easy to open and step up and be curious about it all. For the majority, it’s just another time to go on with life because the thing about life is that it does always go on: even when it’s hard. Now might be a hard time. There’s all sorts of crazy going on. And when it’s this crazy, it helps to breath deeply, mindfully.
Breathing is important when there’s crazy stuff around because when there’s crazy stuff around we tend to hold hunker down, close the space and hold our breath which — surprise — deprives our brain of oxygen; you know, one of the important things our brain needs to help us think and see and plan and act with as much clarity as possible.
The past is not the present, it’s just a delivery mechanism
Clarity helps, even if it’s a moment by moment clarity. Like now. Here.
Breathe deeply. A space between that moment and this moment.
We can look to history but it might not tell us much, other than there are always leaders out of touch, there are always soldiers of fortune in different guises; there are always looters and pillagers and opportunists. There are also always good people doing good stuff regardless of what’s going on and there is always change. Adapting to change is hard when it’s massive, structural change and money is involved. What’s new in the mix is the speed of change, although it’s not the first time in our world history that the pace of distribution of information and goods converged to change things.
In the mid-1800s, the introduction of the railway, the telegraph and the camera dramatically changed the world in every conceivable way, including the world of work. Industries changed: many died, and new ones were created. The telegraph was pretty good at getting information through to newspapers faster than ever believed possible. You can follow the trajectory from the telegraph to twittering tweets and you can map each dot on that line to increasing the speed of work and life and expectations, the velocity with which goods, services, information and money in a big chunk of the world are exchanged, all under the headline of productivity and just-in-time delivery. The kind that makes you wait eight weeks for the couch you need a week from now.
Speed of things. Action and reaction.
With all that’s going on in the world, a good number of people in world are holding their breath, waiting for the wars to end, riots to stop, Cons and the Libs to be friends, food to come, religious strife to go away, jobs to appear, infrastructure to be rebuilt and for the stock market to adhere to some predictable and stable path, as the economists suggest.
Do not be fooled by economists: even though some things are true, economics is NOT a science. Call it psycho-economics flavoured with math, and haunted by an invisible black swan dancing in the background that no-one can see or predict.
How about if some alternate economic theory got some air time instead of the ones that ignore the role that the human in the middle of the theory plays: you know, the human? That unpredictable bag of contradictions, fears and worries, that irrational life form that is a verb and a noun and that ruins every good social science theory?
There are ways to temper the madness. Breathe. Give hugs. Get hugs. Find a sandbox and play with kids. Give yourself a break, if only for a moment. Centre. Anchor. Breathe. In with the good, out with the bad. Make, take, create, carve a moment. Space. Breathe in that moment. Be. Do not do.