I was talking with a friend last night about the social effects of technology. He was saying that people today, mainly because of technology, live incredibly accelerated lives. And we're overstimulated.
We rush from one place to another, never really having the time to focus, to pay attention. Along the way we have radios, CDs, DVD players -- and that's just in the car.
If you're about to take a long road trip with your family (and I just did, to attend a couple of events in Chicago), I advise two things:
1) Have a companionable family. When I was a kid, we engaged in things like whacking each other repeatedly on our sunburns. My kids work out synchronized seated dance moves. It is better to hear the sound of giggles than the sound of screams.
There was a time in my life -- early adolescence -- when I loved biographies. I suppose I was trying to get a feel for the rhythm of lives. I hoped that by reading the lives of exceptional people I admired, I might get a clue how to live an exceptional life myself.
Gradually, my reading tastes changed. But I just finished, almost at one sitting, a gripping biography of an altogether unique mind.
It was the morning after my last night in Springfield, IL. I'd stayed up late packing, along with my wife (who got stuck STARTING to pack while I wrapped up a final conference obligation). We were off to a new life in Colorado, where I'd taken my first job as a library director.
My last stop on the way out was Lincoln Library, where I had been Assistant Director for 3 years (and Circulation Department Head for 2 years before that).