I like to think of my childhood like the Andy Griffith Show. It wasn’t that sweet or wholesome, nobody’s was, but there was a desire to “while away the hours”, and I did spend many fishing with my dad. Life seemed to keep a better pace back then, but the rear view mirror tends to distort your vision. Racing to the finish line was not the main theme.
In those days, the kitchen was the warmest place in the house and often a gathering place as well because Mom often spent 3 to 4 hours a day there, and there was always a good aroma there. The microwave oven had not been invented, coffee percolated in a coffee pot, and dishes were washed by hand, rinsed in the strainer, then dried and put away. Maintaining a home was labor intensive and a full-time occupation, which is why Mom often did not work outside the home.
I was a wee toddler at that point and life did not stay that way long. Efficiency products were the great new invention, and consumerism took over, raising the cost of living so that the bacon Dad was bringing home no longer fed the family’s appetite. There were so many places to go and so many things to see as automobiles became faster and more reliable, and motels and restaurants popped up from coast to coast. The changes that have taken place over the last 50 to 60 years have been phenomenal, and I would never advocate turning back. Now, I can’t imagine living without my laptop computer, my smart phone, and the internet, even though I can easily remember a time when I had none of those things.
I can also remember playing out in the yard and having the serenity of the day disturbed by a loud boom as a jet overhead crashed through the sound barrier. Life is changing at the speed of sound, we feel the sonic booms all the time, and there are those among us who embrace it because they have never known it any other way. The challenge is learning to adopt to the rapid change. The speed of that change is only going to increase to approach the speed of light. This requires more flexibility, more tolerance, more patience, and much more listening. The opportunities are all around you, but you have to become aware of them first.
“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” — Albert Einstein