LIFE IS A TREASURE
Life is a Treasure – Every moment; Every day. Treasure is not found unless it is sought. Seeking is a coordinated skill between the eye, the mind, and the heart. Our eye is trained to collect the information. Our mind is the processor. And our heart produces the payoff. All three must be trained and not contained. All must be nurtured. When we are seeking something we either lost or desire, we first struggle to create an image in our mind of what it is we seek. This is sometimes called “the mind’s eye.” The mind is then activated seeking clues or commencing strategies in pursuit of the lost treasure. Often, this process is not even conscience to us.
This morning, that treasure may have been your car keys. Or maybe it is that special someone to complement your life. Regardless, these are the things of life. They deserve our attention. But what about life’s unsought treasures, images that we don’t have due to lack of time, experience, neglect, or ignorance? Or worse, things we don ‘t even know we lost because we never knew we had them?
HELP! POLICE! I’VE BEEN ROBBED!
Our modern day culture wants to rob us of these riches. For many decades, the phenomenon of the “sound bite” hijacked and replaced our gifts of communication and fellowship. “Keep it short and simple!” they said. Or how about the mantra they teach you in sales, “Tell Them, Tell Them What You Told Them, And Then Tell Them Again.” What happened to “Take your time and explain what you want to tell them so they understand the first time. Get to know them. Then tell them patiently so that they come to know you and trust you.” Well – I will tell you what happened:
The less we are told,
The less we ever know,
About that which is being sold.
Then the more we become prey,
To those who have less to say,
The less we will ever understand,
About that which is being placed in our hand.
THE NEW ERA
So, what modified behavior and technology would this era usher in as an even more dangerous tool to “dumb down” our senses and our society as a whole? I realized that the grand theft of our visual gifts would not only disarm us and make us food for many enemies, it could literally blind us (something akin to being legally blind).
So it started with a democratization and commoditization of photography and memories. More is More! Take as many pictures as you can. Kodak infused the momentum behind this campaign (though I admire many of their technological contributions). Instant cameras, with more film capacity year after year in more peoples’ hands. At least Polaroid, to their credit, forced us to anticipate a photo and be conscientious because of the cost of the film.
We went from framed photos, to photo albums, to shoeboxes, and now… Well now we have the Cloud! Filled with Gazigabytes of digital photographs. We even have something called the archive (which I guess is a photo graveyard for photos that we were never going to look at among the photos we were never going to look at). More disheartening than the devaluation of photographic moments, is the question of whether those moments were ever seen or felt in the first place. Have we become so caught up with capturing the moment and storing it, that we forgot how to savor the moment? Have we cheapened, or at a minimum, deeply discounted the value of moments of our lives and the experiences, both seen and unseen around us?
Chatting was something you did when you bumped into someone on the street. Today, chatting, texting, and tweeting are the first choice for regular, everyday communication. Even in the business world. Marriages have been formed and dissolved in a single chat. Business deals. Our problems. Our successes. Everything has been reduced to a “Message” and in some cases just a character or pictogram (isn’t that how they communicated in the stone age?).
When we experience our world nearly exclusively through Snaps and Chats, we place ourselves at risk of being completely detached and desensitized to everything, everywhere.
When our way of experiencing and communicating with our world is done with Snaps and Chats, we place ourselves at risk of being completely detached and desensitized to everything, everywhere. This is my greatest fear. Just because I interact with Larry more frequently doesn’t mean I know Larry better. Just because I take more pictures of my family doesn’t mean that I know or appreciate how truly special they are as a physical and spiritual creation.
We are walking around snap-chatting our lives away. What happened to stopping and smelling the roses? I guess most people don’t like roses? Then forget the roses. How about just Stopping and Smelling; Stopping and Seeing; Seeing and Feeling, and Feeling and Believing.
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