Sunday, June 1, 2014

MODERN CONVENIENCES vs. OLD-SCHOOL METHODS...What does simplification mean in 2014?

MODERN CONVENIENCES VS. OLD-SCHOOL METHODS:   As someone who has lived through so many technological and societal changes in the past half century, I have been wrestling with a few questions:
  1. With all the time-and-energy-saving conveniences that have cropped up over the past century, why does it seem that there are never enough hours in a day? 
  2. Is it possible that we get more work done in less time with modern conveniences, yet the process and experience is less satisfying?  
  3. We all have more 'leisure time' since so many difficult, mundane chores have become much easier to accomplish (sometimes with the click of a mouse).  Is the satisfaction we get from our leisure time enough to feel whole?  
  4. How important is it to occasionally 'step back in time'  and rediscover the satisfaction of a job well done, the old-school way  (i.e., write a letter, a song (or yes, even a blog) by hand, or with a manual typewriter)?
Let me give you an example:  When I was in high school in 1975, I did a term paper on "Governor Huey P. Long and his effect on LSU".  I would say that research might be considered a mundane chore.  There was no internet at the time.  There were not many books on the topic, but I found the microfilm room in the basement of the LSU library and I plowed through HOURS AND HOURS of film of the 1920s-1930s LSU newspaper, The Reveille.  It was actually  more like DAYS AND DAYS of film of The Reveille, finding occasional references to Huey Long and his role in developing the university.  I took notes by hand, on note cards, noting date of article, aspect of Huey's involvement, etc.  After a couple of months, I compiled information I obtained from this and a few other sources, and created something I was really, really proud of.  Was it a quick, click-of-the-mouse process?  NO.  Was it a source of pride and satisfaction to do the paper without the modern conveniences?  YES!  I bet I could write the same paper today, with my computer in my lap, the weekend before it was due.  I would have missed out on so much.

No, I don't want to go back to sweeping my floor every day. I love my vacuum cleaner that does not spray the dust back into the air.  Yes, I am glad to have an oven and a stove in my home that will let me cook inside.  THAT SAID, I am glad to have had the experience of only having a broom when I was a young adult...and glad to have learned to cook on a campfire and even on the surface of a wood-burning stove in my youth.  There's something about the simplicity of the swoosh of the broom on the floor...and having to wait patiently as the food cooks a bit more slowly, without electricity.  Maybe it's the simplicity of doing things a more natural way that feeds my soul...that makes me feel complete...that satisfies my very being...that simplifies my life.

I would be honored for you to follow my link and give a listen to a song I wrote a few years ago, called Simplify.  It's about appreciating the simple things in life, the things of my youth...those very things that I often turn my back on to keep up with society.  Here's to slowing down and simplifying when the world is moving way too fast!  Like on a lazy Sunday, like today. Thank you, as always, for reading.  Here's the link:

Until next blog, peace and love to you...dorothy