This I Believe

Bradley - Ann Arbor, Michigan
Entered on December 19, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: pleasure

The world around me is fast. Fast food. Fast Cars. Fast Marriages. I watch people rush through life, and I can’t help but wonder about the scariest kind of fast. Fast thought.

There is no doubt that young American’s are adapting quite well to a world ripe with cutting edge technology. A whole symphony of wires and screens that shrink time and space. But in the midst of my generation’s evolution, I can’t help but wonder if deep thought is becoming extinct.

While we are learning how to use electronic gadgets, we may be forgetting how to use human gadgets. It’s ironic that as we navigate through an era coined the information age, for whatever reason, we are losing the capability to use it. Let me tell you about “it.” It constantly surrounds us. CNN. USA Today. Wikipedia. Blogs. Google.

We find things fast. That doesn’t mean we should accept things fast. But then again, it’s pretty tough not to.

More surrounding us. More to do. More opportunities. The same amount of time. We are often told that the world is ours; take advantage of it, make the most of all its offerings. But could it be that ‘all’ is simply too much? Whenever I find myself chasing the elusive all, I realize that I am not thinking about what I am doing, but what I am going to do next. During these periods of tumultuous rush, I don’t think like I know I should. I think fast. Or worse, I don’t really think at all.

Often people talk about tradeoffs between time and quality. I hope we are not moving toward a world where we sacrifice the quality of the one thing most sacred to all of us. Our distinctive human attribute, our ability for complex thought.

Then again, who is to say that it is better to think deeply and move more slowly? As a matter of fact, I know people who would call that selfish. In a society that moves at warp speed, if we want to get things done, the truth is that we are not left with much time to think. This is the reality of my world.

Is this good or is this bad? I don’t know. It’s really a personal decision. Instead of racing to the next item on your agenda, do me a favor. Think about it…

I did. I believe the key is balancing these modern day demands. I will make an impact in my world through action. But I won’t act without thinking. Acting without thinking is just as dangerous as not acting at all.