The Paradox of our Time

I came across this beautiful speech/poem by His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama and it resonated with me.

Here’s another, similar speech by Dr. Bob Moorehead, which is worth a read!

“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more but learn less. We plan more but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you and a time when you can choose either to share this insight or to just hit delete…

Remember, to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember, to say, “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person might not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.”

Today, most people live in bigger homes (per person per square feet), but who is there at home? Most families are nuclear in nature and even with just three or four people at home, the house is just that – rarely a home as with people’s schedules, there are just a handful of times when everyone is at home together. We don’t make time for the extended family, even during festivities and occasions.

With more disposable incomes, especially in countries like Singapore, the tendency to buy for the sake of buying something is very common. Hashtags like #buybuy are very common on social media platforms and the flaunting of new possessions seems to be a case of ‘keeping up with the Joneses and doing it one step more’! This in contrast, to some people who seem to adopt a minimalist attitude. I would like to go this route and so for the time being, I am stopping all non-essential purchases, preferring to buy from my closet and stash. I will only buy when I am completely out of the product.

We’re more connected than ever in the history of the world, but ironically we’re more alone than ever. As of June 2016, there are more than 1 billion Whatsapp groups in the world and more than 64 billion messages were sent using Whatsapp in one day at its peak! The normal Whatsapp traffic is approximately 42 billion messages per day, though I am not sure if this includes the voice and video messages. But how many of us actually take the time to speak to a loved one on a regular basis? It’s so much easier being in touch through a keyboard, though how much time does it take to take the same phone and dial a number. Even if you do not or cannot use international dialing, all you need to do is install one of the free apps like Skype or Viber and speak to your loved ones!


I am going to make a call to speak to my loved ones just as soon as I finish this post, will you?



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