Archive for June 27th, 2012

“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.”

I was on my way to a meeting this morning, for work, when I happened across a quite devastating scene. Shortly before the junction I was due to take from the motorway, the few cars in front of me slowed to a halt in their lanes as policemen stood blocking the road. Now with three lanes of traffic you can imagine it fairly quickly built up, and slowly the police escorted one car at a time half a mile down the road through one tiny lane gap.

As I drew level with the officers, the cause for the mass convoy was immediately apparent. Cars lay abandoned in the middle of what tends to be a really busy road, and one in particular had spun round to face the wrong way down the motorway, and was tipped. . Inside, crumpled up closer than was natural to her steering wheel, eyes closed and blood streaming down her face, was a middle aged woman. It was disturbing to see, of course it was disturbing, but the events that followed were  troubling in a different way, if that’s possible.

As the officers and firemen worked to secure the situation, and others dealt with some walking wounded, we sat, in convoy, and helplessly watched the movie like scene play out before us. Everybody could see what was happening, and they could sense if not see how delicate a procedure it all was. Yet not one, not two, not even three people – but four individual cars – decided they were done waiting.

Angry motorists began sounding their horns – which in itself was incredibly irritating and disrespectful. But then, then they decided to drop out of convoy and speed down the hard shoulder, beyond the carefully queuing traffic that the police were working to escort. People could see the situation, and yet they couldn’t see beyond their next appointment or meeting. It was, frankly disgusting.

Of course, this sparked an influx of rebellion as more and more people saw an easy way out, until one fuming policeman pointedly placed his car on the hard shoulder to halt any other efforts of people trying to escape the system. But do you know the worst thing of all? The very worst thing? From start to finish, from being at the front of the convoy to being back on track to my meeting – only 2.5 minutes passed.

2.5 minutes of my day was paused to aid efforts to save somebody’s life, yet more than 1/3rd of the people queuing alongside me, couldn’t even spare that. Shocking.

The quote today comes from Bob Moorehead. I thought I’d struggle to find something to sum up the true extent of my feelings for this blog entry, but it was there, waiting to be used and fitted perfectly.


“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but
shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more,
but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and
smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees
but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more
problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little,
drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too
little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our
possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and
hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to
life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but
have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer
space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom,
but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but
accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more
computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we
communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small
character, steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but
broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway
morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything
from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the
showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can
bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share
this insight, or to just hit delete…

-Bob Moorehead –

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