Sunday, June 12, 2016

Guiding Hands

A few minutes ago my buddy, Ralph Miller, emailed this note, under the subject line, A Blossoming New Business Venture."

"I’m thinking this might be something to earn me a couple extra bucks in my retirement!"

I know Ralph is never going to retire, and I know it isn't a possibility for me either.  However, with Ralph you never know for sure, so I thought I'd better take a look at his "blossoming new business venture."

In case you missed the opening line of the video, here it is again:

  "In today's modern world, you can watch what you're doing or you can watch where you're going, but you can't do both."

Years ago the word "multitasking" was coined by IBM to describe a computer capability.  At some point, it was applied to the actions of human beings.  That we can't do it, is the point of the Guiding Hands Video.  Despite the overwhelming evidence that we aren't up for multitasking, we continue to try, and try, and try; to the point that, though I'm sure neither the National Safety Board nor the Center for Disease Control consider multitasking a threat to humanity, I believe it has become the major threat to the long range possibility of the survival of humanity.

How many people have to die while driving before multitasking is identified as the cause of the fatalities?  How many marriage have to end?  How many wars have to rage?  How many kids have to take their lives before we do something, or more appropriately, before we stop trying to do so much and simply stop, take stock, and realize that simpler was better and best of all, it's still ours for the taking?

I suppose it isn't natural for a human to stop and smell the roses.  It takes self-honesty to stop cold and say "This isn't working.  There must be a better way."  And, it takes a hell of a lot of courage to find that way and take it.

I'm convinced that it's time for us as a species and as individuals to backtrack to the forks in the road and pick one instead of trying to multitask our way down all of them.

It probably wasn't the fork that Robert Frost chose that made all the difference.  In fact, I'm willing to bet that if he reconsidered his words today he would say that choosing only one made all the difference.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost, poem published 1920