Brave new world?

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Are things getting better or just more complicated?

I just signed the contract to rent my new apartment – paperwork was horrid and endless! I remembered as a dream the days when you met the landlord, they appraised you as a human being and if they liked what they saw you both signed a simple standard contract. I understand renting agents and referencing agents are safeguards for both parties, but it seems to have reached a stage of the ridiculous in expensive red tape.

Then there are the phone calls to providers and utilities where you run the gauntlet of endless answering machines then wait ages to finally you get to talk to another human.

For someone who never saw a TV set till I was five, (yes, I am that old lol!) had to walk to a phone box to make a call, found information at the local library, saw my dad repair shoes, make furniture, grow veg and cycle to work and my mum make our clothes on her new sewing machine and prepare all our food from scratch, I question which was better.

For all the medical advances – we seemed to be far healthier back then.

Communication advances – we actually developed social skills lol.

Entertainment advances – we had more fun doing simple stuff before we became over stimulated.

Mental health – most folks were pretty happy – I can’t remember ever hearing of depression or mental health issues. Of course they were not discussed so much back then. For sure they existed, but I suspect they were less prevalent. Following the trauma of the war it is surprising how cheerful and upbeat people seemed compared to now, perhaps due to the camaraderie and natural, supportive interaction of society. What we gained on the swings I suspect we lost on the roundabouts. Mental health became a doctors domain rather than being bolstered by close friendships and family.

Educational advances – more to learn, more pressure, more knowledge but far less wisdom and discernment.

Standard of living – higher for most (though not all) yet all in all I suspect the quality of life has taken a plunge.

While I applaud many of the new advances and innovations I regret the loss of much that was precious to the human soul.

Floating?

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Life is like swimming, there has to be some movement on a constant basis to keep your head above water. If you go to sleep you sink. If you’re able to relax and float the effort can be very little, but if you want to get somewhere or achieve something it takes more. If you’re constantly driving both arms and legs you pretty soon get tired, so the best is periods of focused effort and periods of rest when you mostly float. That’s how channel swimmers make the 28 miles. If you are in for the long haul you need both,
It seems a somewhat lost art in these days, when everything races top speed, to stop and feel at peace within, to float on life’s waters. I’m as guilty as the next, (bringing up seven kids you become an expert at multi-tasking)it becomes a habit. I still find it very hard to just eat, for example, I always have a book propped, hold a conversation, or watch a movie, so I miss out on enjoying much of the flavor.
I have to force myself to stop and take time alone just to “be”, “to chill”, to “meditate”, to “pray and talk to God”. Whichever way you view this, this floating is the remedy to burn out, the elixir balm to promote mental wellness. It’s when we stop, and remember who we are and where we are going.

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So many these days fail to appreciate silence. Some even seem afraid of it, or what will catch up will them in its tranquility.
TV/ phones, etc. continually spew forth as background noise, as if silence were an enemy that would devour them, minds constantly needing distraction, no peace within. Many seem to be running through life, ears blocked with headphones, afraid of the sound of silence, the stillness when the soul speaks.
I remember a time when man sat in tranquility, absorbing the silence, at one with nature. I wish my grandchildren to know this peace also.