July 2011 Publisher Letter
These days, the quest to live simply is not as clear cut as one might think. As I write, I am keenly aware of my reliance on my laptop’s complex electronics. How quickly we have become dependent on the myriad devices that feed the 21st century’s information economy. In the past 20 years, computer capacity for just about every function imaginable has had such an unprecedented impact that when a PC, cell phone or other machine goes down we can feel paralyzed. Business slows or can come to a screeching halt while we call in a troubleshooter.
Computing has supercharged our society at a complexity and speed greater than any other category of tool that man has conceived. New technologies have transformed the ways in which we live.
Now that smart phones tied to social media sites and apps are putting data pulled out of hyperspace into our hand with lightening speed, our innate need to connect has expanded exponentially. It appears to be insatiable. Still the question remains - how well are we really staying in touch? I have found that my own fear of missing a call or text message if I leave my phone behind or off has become a near-addiction. I pause to ask: “Is this high-tech wizardry a hindrance to my being fully in this moment?”
All of this wondrous and sometimes exhilarating technology travels a tightrope between the art of discovery and dependency. Yes, we can still choose some of the ways in which we use—or don’t use—these high-tech devises but who in the competitive marketplace hasn’t felt the need to keep up with the accelerating world revolving on silicon chips and satellites?
The ever-increasing need for speed in a global economy is not without costs to our planet and society. While we may be entertained on screen and reach answers in milliseconds, inhabiting a techno-world also pulls us away from the real world in which we live. This increasing disconnect from Mother Earth is a concern for all ages. Our zest to electronically connect and endlessly consume things has decimated the generous resources of the good Earth, the very elements we need as building blocks of progress.
I find it is vital for me to unplug often and step out into nature, to rediscover simple pleasures and affirm my connection with the primal forces that steward our world. I engage in activities and events that align me with nature. A walk through the park and growing a garden with my son are at the top of my list; such activities balance my need to connect with loved ones with my need to connect with Planet Earth.
Let’s all vow to enjoy the world outside to the utmost this summer, and to connect firsthand with fellow beings and creatures that share the same home planet. Let’s simply live with an awareness of the beauties that surround us daily and yes, occasionally leave the cell phone at home.
Learning to just be,
Don Moore, Publisher