Containing Chaos

I have been doing a lot of reading and writing lately. Let’s call it a rather reflective time, where the pedal of the accelerator, that is life, has been eased off, and the clutch is just beginning to engage. Yes, I believe that I am changing gears, in order to slow down, take it in, and make sense of the world around me. Maybe.

Seemingly all around me is chaos. This is not new, but as I dig a little deeper, as I see a little clearer, the chaos seems to be willingly induced and nurtured. We run our collective kids from here to there, keeping them in two or three activities simultaneously while making sure that their homework gets done and they maintain their A average, at the same time trying to fit in a full time job, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, a few minutes for a significant other here and there, a few minutes, heaven forbid, for ourselves, all sandwiched between community projects and extended family commitments. It is no wonder that our kids are growing up with severe learning, and communication, inabilities. We are not teaching them “connection” because we don’t have the time to connect – and neither do they.

Their attention spans are the size of a micro second – as each new status update changes, so does their focus. Face to face connection time has been replaced with hours of computer screen time, imitating each new person as a fictitious character never to be fully disclosed or known. They sit transfixed in awe of this ‘other’ character that looks perfect in every way and shape, yet they are far from that other fictitious place, called perfection, however difficult to see.

Society needs to cool its jets. Collectively, we have to calm down, spend some quality time with family without the many distractions of the day and really, really try to connect on some sort of level that is purposeful and meaningful, where kids feel valued and appreciated while learning life’s lessons. We have to show our children our own vulnerability, encouraging them to take some risks and telling them that mistakes are okay. Mistakes are what make us human, and it is from these mistakes that we grow and become whom we choose to be, in all of its wonderful imperfection.

It sounds so easy in theory. Why do we make it so hard?

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