As 2012 races to completion, we continue to resist a 21st-century lifestyle. In the collective cultural dream for this period, we anticipated enjoying copious free time. We simplified our belongings, embraced the four-hour workweek and organized our lives around the desires of our heart. We invested in visits with family and friends, and honored our need for solitude and service. While we savored leisure, robots and androids busily completed tasks for us. Unfortunately, instead, we are morphing into robots and androids, lurching semiconsciously through monotonous days and connected to others not by flesh, but by wiring.
Let’s evolve. A real human being communicates, creates, plays, loves, feels and embraces imperfections. Find your path into the future by considering the following guidelines:
Life is not what you think: Let’s agree to stop telling ourselves lies and stop teaching lies to children and teens. Good grades do not guarantee entry to the university of your dreams, but they can help. A college degree is not a guarantee of a well-paying job, career success or personal happiness, but it can help. Perfection in appearance does not guarantee friendship or love, but self-care is a sign of self-worth, and that is attractive. And flunking a class, divorcing a partner or being fired from a job is not failure. It’s an experience that can lead to new life. Let’s evolve to live and teach the truth: Life is a journey to learn how to give and receive love. Why should anyone wait until death to discover this reality?
Recognize real love: Chemistry is not love. It’s attraction, and sometimes, it’s lust. Sex is not love, and great sex is no guarantee that love exists now or later. Engage an evolved brain. Remember, too, that children and teens are not your confidantes. Respect yourself, your role as parent and your child’s or teen’s maturation process. If you need to talk about your marriage, divorce or dating exploits, go to therapy. That’s an act of love for everyone.
Numbers are an illusion: A 30-year marriage sometimes signifies commitment, friendship and chemistry. It can also represent two people who fear being alone, the financial ruin of divorce or the fires of hell. A long marriage can include abuse that one spouse has learned to tolerate. Similarly, age is just a number: It says nothing about a person’s maturity level or spiritual understanding.
Humor is a tattletale: What we laugh at or ridicule often reveals our wounds. Observe yourself and clean up unkindness so you can chortle without hurting a soul.
Own your body: Listening to your body is your job, not your doctor’s. The more honesty and awareness you bring into the doctor’s office, the better equipped your doc is to treat you.
Managing your money is your job, not your bank’s, not your financial planner’s, not your mortgage broker’s: Pay attention. (Get it?) That’s your investment in shaping your earnings and your financial future.
Schools are troubled because adults are troubled: Children who are encouraged to explore their passions, who are taught the skills of right relationships and who are lovingly guided into wholesome values will succeed. All of these qualities are taught through the experience of consistent parenting and consistent mentoring by other caring adults. Children learn what they live.
Be born again: Unplug from the umbilical cord of your digital device. It cannot feed you in the ways necessary to inspire your humanity. Stop the download of fear that you might miss something. Slow down. Be born again as a human being. Spiritual solvency is important.
A 21st-century life is one in which we develop the capacity to stay conscious and to selflessly choose to act from real love. This demands awareness. We must grow in our awareness of interior (feelings, thoughts, energy) and exterior (others, the environment, etc.) experiences, while also observing our interactions with each. If you are not practicing awareness, you may be in danger of becoming an automaton, enslaving yourself to a life that is not true.