The world has gotten a little surreal lately as everything gets faster, faster, and there are a few ways we can choose to respond.
1) Do nothing
Ignore it and try to keep doing things the way we’ve always done them. Be paralysed -- like a deer in the headlights of an approaching car after dusk in rural Pennsylvania where I come from. This goes very badly for the deer.
2) Fight it
Join the counter-revolution. Fight with all your energy to put things back the way they were. Find a tribe of like-minded reactionaries, fuel the collective anger, and blow things up.
3) Be assimilated
Go along with it. Be seduced by the latest gadget and convenience and the pretty, blinking lights. Go on, see what’s just landed in your inbox. Check your Twitter feed. You know you want to. In the meantime you have a vague sense that life isn’t as satisfying as it used to be, but who has time to worry about that? What’s on Netflix?
4) Dance with it
I discovered the transcendent joy of swing dancing a few years ago, after spending the first part of my life being so miserably self-conscious that I refused to dance on any occasion. Not even at my own wedding. The secret to dancing is that you have to hold onto your core and your frame, while at the same time responding in a playful, fluid way to the music, your partner and what’s happening around you. It takes some practice to master this skill but once you do, it’s a whole lot of fun.
Charles Handy says, ‘The secret to balance in a time of paradox is to allow the past and the future coexist in the present.’ Can we learn to hold onto our core, the things that makes us us, while we dance playfully with change?