I was kayaking yesterday when a good friend asked me if I had noticed how narcissism seems rampant these days. Before we could continue the conversation my kayak got hung up on a submerged log and soon dialogue shifted to other topics. But it got me to thinking...I wonder if part of the problem of today's generation (and ours too) is that we are too focused on tweeting, facebooking, blogging (yeah, I know) and a myriad of other me-me technology. Are we so caught up in ourselves that we are forgetting the importance of giving back to others, the importance of getting outside and just enjoying a warm fall day?
Yes, I agree technology has opened up the world, connecting us in ways that were impossible before. Still, I notice my sons and others holed up inside on their computers and wish they were outside bike riding, kayaking, hiking, boating, etc. It helps take the focus off oneself and puts life in perspective. Yesterday as I paddled down the Huron River, it struck me how beautiful it was to be there on such a perfect fall day. Rounding a bend, I caught a sudden glimpse of a majestic blue heron, a blue grey statue among with reeds. How sweet to be able to feel the warm sun on my back as I paddled along with a chatty group of like-minded friends. What a luxury to slow down from a hectic life to enjoy the moment with others instead of just blathering on about myself. I have nothing against Facebook or social media. Yet I have noticed a general shift in the world of my children and my students... maybe because of the new ability to regurgitate every tiny aspect of their lives as they instananeously share every breath with others online. Are we losing the ability to truly listen to others? To engage in a real give and take in our conversations without focusing just on me, me, me? Are we able to get outside and enjoy the incredible beauty of nature? I wonder.