In this non-stop society, take a moment and slow down

By Web Master

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STAFF EDITORIAL

Slow down. Take a deep breath. Look at those around you.

 

In today’s fast paced society, we sometimes forget about our immediate experience. Our minds have become entangled in the goals of expediency and success.

We focus on our individual endeavors and aim to act as efficiently as possible. Our first priority is our output and achievement, which helps cultivate a productive society.

Although our productivity may be increased with this mentality, there are consequences.

We oftentimes sacrifice our sense of community to place ourselves on a higher pedestal.

We cannot forget — community is a group effort. Acts of assistance, kindness, courtesy and acceptance fall into the non-productive realm and become few and far between when we become overwhelmed by the necessity of work in our dog-eat-dog world.

Those at a different pace get consumed into the standard way of operating. And when an individual, disabled, injured or handicapped does not conduct life in this rushed manner, others get perturbed or agitated.

This is not community, nor is it acceptable. There is no mandate to follow any sort of existence. There is no more value to one life than there is to another. The point of the community is not to enforce a particular lifestyle — instead its aim should be an environment where all perspectives can exist, and not fall under domination.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with personal success, however the rapid intensity of everyday life often puts the notion of “helping” on the back burner. Whether it is a small act, such as holding the door for another individual or one of larger magnitude, such as nursing an elderly parent, reaching out for other members of the community is part of what makes a community a community.

Exclusion of any member of the community harms the health and well being of the community, more than the benefits of a packed schedule.

We have the capacity for compassion and caring, nonetheless we find ways with which to minimize or exclude this capacity.

It is an issue of choice. A large portion of the ‘busy’ society chooses to avoid venues that can assist and help.

Unfortunately, in a society that is overly stressed by constant requirements for quick results, the choice slips in the direction of non-action more often than the alternative.

In our society, a conscious effort must be made to accommodate, making the choice of helping more difficult, as the structure of society places emphasis on other values, such as success. Compassion, although a faculty found within most, is barren in a society based solely on materialistic value.

Our vocabulary even implies this, as we “sacrifice” our time. To help is not a “sacrifice,” it is an honor to go beyond the confined walls of material value.

Many claim we must “give up” in order to help or be compassionate, which is partly true. We may “give up” certain material benefits or even give up part of the ego, however on the larger scale within the community, we are all clearly gaining. It only is a “sacrifice” if you view it within a specific context — essentially the context of the aforementioned society.

One should not allow this progression away from compassion to triumph — this can be overcome. Look amongst any community to see those willing to choose the route of assistance.     

On either side of the political spectrum, the “I’d love to, but I don’t have enough time” excuse is paraded as a reason for not giving back to the community. The drive is present, however the action is absent. A successful community requires both to thrive.

And radical philanthropy is not even required. A mere understanding of the power of compassion and understanding amongst those around you not only improves their life, but symbiotically makes life more enjoyable for you.

In the drive-through society of the modern world, we forget the basic benefits that a move toward compassion can achieve.

Individual compassion may not directly cure AIDS, stop wars, or feed the hungry. But it’s the potential to make life easier and rebuild a sense of community that may eventually rise up and improve humanity seems to be a vision of the future worth reaching for.

So go out and hold that door!