How do you deal with the speed of life?

January 26, 2015

fast-forwardHave you noticed that life is moving faster and faster, so fast that our brains and hearts can’t keep up?

No sooner do we grieve one family’s loss–the murder of an abducted child or a police officer, the death of a suspect–than another appears right on its heels.

It’s Ferguson and then it’s Bedford-Stuy.

It’s beheadings and then it’s Paris.

We’re left reeling from one horrific terrorist act, but there’s no time to really process it because another follows closely behind.

Life in the 21st century is like a video tape stuck in fast forward mode and there’s no way to stop it. It’s got a life of its own, not just marching forward but moving at the speed of light. The speed of life, now.

Was there ever a time like this, when so many ghastly things happened, one on top of another? Maybe there was, but I can’t think of it.

Part of it is how news is disseminated today–quickly, broadly and repeatedly. Maybe that serves as some kind of public reinforcement for hideous deeds spurs evil-doers on.

Speed used to be a good thing–speed-reading, multi-tasking, getting more things done in a given period–we strove to be efficient.  But now, I’m burdened by the weight of what’s happening in the world and left reeling by the velocity.

It’s hard to take it all in and gain any perspective at all.

How can so many terrible things happen all at once?

How can our minds and hearts process all that we see and hear these days?





29 comments on “How do you deal with the speed of life?
  1. CARLA says:

    it’s the only thing that works.

  2. Hi carol, I agree speed used to be a good thing however most of us are on warp speed and don’t take time for fun and family. I know I am very guilty of this. How can I process half of it. Thank you!

  3. I’m with Carla. Luckily, we can control all this activity around us by just unplugging from time to time!

  4. Mary says:

    Most weekends, I shut myself off from the outside world. It is my time to relax, connect with my family and friends, in a simple old world way, with good food and wine.

  5. It’s a great question Carol. I know I spend more time on a single issue than I would have twenty years ago because of all the levels on which a terrible event, however distant affects me – and – many more in number affect me than would have before. And I think being affected by more, for longer periods , on deeper levels of processing can make that gap between events feel shortened.

  6. I know unplugging eases the pain and amount of negative info that reaches us, and I don’t pay strict attention to tragedy on news. Maybe terrorism has increased in time and horror stories due to mentally ill people not being well treated by the health care system, but all the other murders, crimes against humanity ufortunately exited, just disemination has it seem more.
    I think the real tragedy is complacency.

  7. Becky Blades says:

    We have to love at the speed of life. What doesn’t kill us must make us more compassionate.

  8. The need for balance in our lives is more
    important than ever. I seek out good news,
    cute puppy and baby stories and I spend time
    watching comedies, more than I ever did.

  9. I agree and it leaves me wore out and sad. Sometimes you just have to tune out but even that’s not so easy anymore.

  10. Do you think there’s a generational piece to this? My 17-year old twin daughters, who are plenty sensitive in many ways, seem somewhat immune to the horror of the news around the world. I wonder if digital natives are better able to compartmentalize these tough stories because they’ve been inundated with graphic images and video for most of their lives. Or maybe it’s just part of putting up a front as a teen and they’ll grow up to be just as horrified as we are…

  11. beth b says:

    I think there’s just as many atrocities now as there were in past generations — the difference is technology.

    The horrors that took place in the concentrations camps weren’t posted in real-time video — nor the killing fields of Cambodia — nor the evil done during the Crusades, etc. They weren’t “in your face” at every turn.

    I don’t think the human spirit is able to process all of this — maybe that accounts for the over indulgence in drugs, alcohol, food, etc.

  12. Color me uninformed…but this is why I mostly watch Law and Order reruns or read. Denial is a powerful force. It’s too much. Add social media on top of it and it’s total overload.

  13. Caroline says:

    One of the advantages to living in Kuwait is that we are not bombarded by the news in the same way we were in the UK. I have found this a wonderful experience and a little perspective does a lot of good. When I do occasionally check the headlines what jumps out is the incredible focus on the negative. I know certain recent events clearly take precedence but the vast majority of news is bad. Not listening, watching or reading it has a positive effect and when I do re-engage with it I feel as though it is on my terms, not theirs.

  14. The tyrany of the urgent, the ever dangling shiny object… and the information overload contribute to keeping our lives so busy that we forget HOW to live. The Bible talks about the simple life and I have to agree. Ever since I’ve narrowed down what is truly important, and what is just white noise, life did get simpler, a bit. Ever striving to have & keep a balance in this area! Great post, thought provoking. Thanks.

  15. It’s impossible to keep up so I guess we just have to buckle our seat belts and keep going!

  16. I’m with Doreen. It’s so important to seek out the good, positive news. And there’s a lot of it out there to focus on. 🙂

  17. Everything does get pretty overwhelming. I think a lot of the issue is that we knowabout things the moment they happen. The internet feeds us non-stop sadness and, although we abhore it, we find it hard to look away. Perhaps we are afraid we will seem callous by not looking. A few months ago I made a meme… those silly pictures with uplifting/funny sayings. (It was my first and possible last since I think there are too many of them out there) But it said “When something difficult happens… do something wonderful!” Maybe we can somehow tip the balance back before we crumble from the weight. I hope this helps.
    I have been fighting depression the last couple weeks and need to heed my own advice.

  18. Kathy says:

    Life does move much too fast not only with the world events but also with local news. At times I feel like I need to escape and just watch a funny movie, go for a walk with Kibbles and soak in nature. But then I find myself being swept back in but at least I had some time to step off the whirlwind.

  19. Estelle says:

    From what I understand (or have heard) the gravitational and vibrational energies of our planet are changing and this affects everything-the good and the bad. I’m sure you’ve heard something like that.

  20. Ruth Curran says:

    Too much, too fast, so all-consuming. I used to think we could overwhelm all the negative by overwhelming it with positive but even that feels like too much some days. I guess we breathe, Carol, and do the best we can to live in the moment — even the insane ones.

  21. Diane says:

    I tend to spend a lot of time in the past. Life moves slower there . . .

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