A minute a day to self-improvement, by Rabbi Raymond Beyda
Minute #467: Brakes
“Did you read that article in Inyan magazine about life in prewar Europe?” Chani asked Rebecca.
“No, I haven’t,” Rebecca responded. “I have been so busy lately that even my multi-tasking techniques are not working. I just can’t seem to catch up.”
“Times were so different,” Chani said. “People worked harder and lacked all the modern time-saving devices that we have, but somehow I envy the pace of their lives. They were able to savor life. It seems like everything we do is so hurried.”
“I read a historical novel once and realized that people used to own things longer and repair them when they were in disrepair. Today we live in a disposable, microwave society,” Rebecca added. “Then, getting attached to something and having strong relationships with others was commonplace. Now, appliances and people all seem to be disposable.”
The holy sefarim explain that the world as we know it will span a total of 6,000 years. Each millennium corresponds to one day of the week of creation. Utilizing their formula, we are currently living in the sixth millenium of history, which corresponds to the sixth day of the week, Erev Shabbat (Friday).
Some say that is the reason why life is moving so rapidly. As the holy day of rest approaches, it seems there is so much still to be done and not enough time remaining in which to complete the preparations. The chosen solution is to move as quickly as possible and do as many things as one can simultaneously. But this technique has its price.
In order to live life productively and to enjoy our blessings, we must slow down the pace of our environment. Real relationships do need quality time, but they require quantity time as well. There are certainly technological advances that have raised our comfort level and quality of life to levels unmatched in human experience. However, to live as well as we can, we need to slow down and savor life to its fullest.
Put on the brakes — and live.
One More Second: Another Thought for the Day
The more possessions, the more worry. (Avot 2:8)