Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The World is flat

I once read a book called “The World is Flat” by Thomas L. Friedman. In it, he painted a picture of a world moving faster than most can keep up with in terms of industry, culture, thought processes, etc… I found this very interesting due to the fact that though I’m a technology lover, I have often struggled to keep my personal values set to an old-fashioned tune. Don’t you find it interesting that a century or two ago, people met their soul-mates, who just happened to live on the farm one mile down the road from them, and stayed with each other for a lifetime? I realize that a lifetime was a lot shorter back then, but come on! I have met people who can’t stay with one person for more than a few months without wondering if there's someone better out there for them. It makes me wonder if society has gotten so overloaded with choices, that no one wants to be forced to pick one and go with it.

If too much choice is causing indecision, how can we simplify it and keep any order at all? Is complete disorder the new “order”? Again…I’m not a fan of disorder! I'm really lucky that I'm from the generation I'm from because if I had been forced to carry a suitcase to my mother’s house on “her weekend”, I would’ve had an anxiety attack! … Of course, I can’t even stay in a hotel without putting my clothes on hangers and in the drawers! I suppose that's the way I commit to staying in one place for a period of time. These days, there's not much left of “commitment" other than sticking with it while things are good! The trouble is that it can be easily dissolved when it becomes uncomfortable for us which leaves us with very little concept of accountability. Now- I’m not saying there aren’t reasons to break up with people! What I am wondering though, is if this flattening world, though it makes business opportunities limitless, is causing the dissonance in our personal quests for constantly wanting "more" than what we have! If a click of a mouse on a computer can find you a “new soul mate” who will distract you from your mundane life, possibly it’s technology that’s causing the mundane life to become unacceptable. If I had a piece of chocolate cake in front of me and I have eaten the same chocolate cake yesterday, I would still be very excited about eating it…until I see a commercial for a 4 layer chocolate cheesecake on the television. I’d set the chocolate cake in front of me aside and then run to the store for some cheesecake…cause I have my driver’s license and I can do whatever I want, when I want!…and the store is open 24 hours now!…Yippy! ...(actually…don’t tell anyone, but I would likely eat the chocolate cake in front of me, and then go to the store for some cheesecake too. Of course, I’d have to work out 2 hours extra that evening, but who cares. I like to workout!)

So again I ask, how do we maintain our ideals and values in an ever flattening world? Will what we have ever be enough while we have constant access to “better”…or I should say, “different”, than what we already have? I’m very happy to continue learning about our ever flattening world on a global, economic and academic scale! I find it amazing! BUT- I am very adamant about maintaining my old fashioned sheltered life full of family values and morals on a personal level. There’s still room for commitment and unconditional support of the people around us. The old doesn’t need to get thrown out once the new presents itself 10,000 miles away! Just because we can reach it, doesn’t mean we need to feel obligated to bring it home!