Sunday, 17 December 2017

Slow down and have some respect

THE many advantages of modern technology include the speed and ease of communication without regard to distance.

THE many advantages of modern technology include the speed and ease of communication without regard to distance.

These attributes are valuable on occasions but can become masters rather than servants.

The business world can and does eat into leisure time and there is little escape.

Acquaintances and complete strangers can and do interrupt life with welcome, unwelcome and even unpleasant messages.

Planning anything in advance is difficult as plans can be changed with ease.

This leaves the individual with little time for anything but running faster and faster to keep up, rather like the Red Queen in Alice Through The Looking Glass.

All of the above is well known. We are becoming victims of electronic communications. Phone calls are prioritised over face-to-face conversations and messages are received that interrupt holiday breaks.

The pressure is to act rather than to reflect, which could on occasions be more productive.

In fact what is needed is to slow down and become aware of the recipient of the communication — a tweet to a close friend will be welcome, a message to a complete stranger could be offensive. It all depends on respecting the recipient.

The idea of respect is at the heart of living life to the full. To use a rather hackneyed example, the Samaritan would not have had compassion if he had not had respect for the victim and seen him as a human being.

St Paul in Ephesians chapter 6 lists various relationships. These can all be summed by the notion of respect, seeing the other as a person in their own right and not just as a recipient of a message.

This idea of respect can be extended to cover all living things and might make us less willing to destroy so much.

Perhaps fewer trees would be cut down if we had respect for their growth, age and all their other attributes.

So my thought for the week is to slow down and have respect.

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