fiona bennettFeb 5 3 min read
I went a little bit nutso when I heard a commercial on the t.v. the other day. They are advertising this 'amazing' new app for those busy people who just can't find the time, energy, gumption to read a whole book. It gives you the jist of the book in a 15 minute snippet that you can either read or if that is too taxing you can listen instead. There is a place for audio books, I'm not stuck in the middle ages but surely there is a place for the WHOLE book not a burger and fries version of something that someone has poured their heart and soul into creating. Are we that lazy that we can no longer read for ourselves? I am reminded of those mini-notebooks that we sometimes resorted to in highschool when we procrastinated and left that 2000 word analysis of War & Peace to the night before it was due. Now that was a reasonable use of the abridged, abbreviated version. But this new app is not directed at teenagers or young adults who have been gaming or partying a bit too self-indulgently and are scrambling to avoid summer school. It is directed at everybody. It is intended to take the time out of reading.
It is so sad. What have we come to? I don't want to be too dramatic but to me it was as if we just sanctioned book burning. Ok, that is dramatic. All those beautiful, magical words condensed down to no more than blog sized chunks is criminal.
And why is this happening and why is it sliding on by with so little outcry or even notice?
It's not that different than everything else that we've come to expect. Fast, give it to me fast. I want results, I want the sparkle, I want the joy, I want the discovery and I want you to give it to me. If I am going to do it then I want to do it fast.
I am in the world of inner work and every which way you turn you will find the same slogans dangled in your face for this as well. Inner peace, over here, come and get it. While I absolutely ascribe to the fact that you and I are able to make tremendous shifts in a single second once we have an awareness or AHA moment, not all of our growth is going to come in bursts like that. And no matter how nice it would be to go from awareness to total transformation, unfortunately it is not usually that linear a progression. First of all, I believe that this journey is life long and that we will continue on it, learning, digging in, resisting and then breaking through over and over again until we are free of this earthly form. While we are here in this human body we will continue to have human issues and after awareness comes acceptance, and change which in my experience takes commitment, firm resolve, consistent actions, support and brutal self-honesty and unconditional self-love. This doesn't come in a 15 minute audio or a you-tube video it comes in a willingness to go in and peel back layer by layer as required and sometimes it takes a helping hand. You can't go from A to Z in 60 seconds.
If you want the magic you have to make the journey. I want the magic of Jane Eyre in all the moments that she is at her lowest, when she dares to hope, when she is crushed with disappointment I want to be so involved that I weep along and when she exalts I want to soar with her and shed tears of joy. I want the whole book. I want the whole meal. I want the whole story of my child's day. I want to listen deeply to the dreams of my spouse and I want to do my own work fully and completely.
Can we please stop trying so hard to avoid effort that we cost ourselves the pleasures of life?
Suffice it to say, I will not be a customer of the new app. I will however be loading up my tablet with as many real books as possible just in case this is the writing on the wall.