Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Letter to a teenager

On behalf of all the adults around you I would like to say we're sorry.  It used to be that you would hear us greet each other with a friendly "hi, how are you?" and you'd hear the response "fine".  Yeah, I know, bland and meaningless, but positive and polite. These days you are more likely to hear us inhale deeply, sigh, and use an alternative single word: "tired" or "busy". I notice that you have begun to copy our foolish ways and adopt these responses as your standard too.

You see 30 years ago, some brilliant minds invented computers and held out a promise to us that life would become full of glorious pursuits like hiking, playing music, sailing, skiing, that the computers would take the stress out of our lives, do half our work for us, and vastly increase our quality of life. But just as 150 years ago we managed to lose that ideal in the industrial revolution, so we have failed again. Instead of increasing our quality of life we have managed to cram more and more work into each individual's schedule, have become blackberryiphoned during dinner, walks on the beach and family time. We have built the most impressive individualist empires, have squeezed two or three jobs' worth of work into each person's role, and have almost entirely forgotten how to relax. It simply isn't good enough and we're sorry.

You do not need to be "tired" and "busy" to be valid.

Please help us to encourage you to live lives of balance. Work hard and work well, be dedicated and purpose-filled. Have fun. Exercise. Cut down on your screen time, do not feel the need to be on-line 20 hours a day, do not over-program your life. Be a good friend to those around you. And resist, like I do, the temptation to answer the question "how are you?" with "tired" or "busy".

1 comment:

健康保寶 said...

We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull, Some have weird names , and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.............................................