Every missed rite of passage led to a new rigidification of the personality, a lessening ability to see, to adjust, to understand, to let go, to be human.’*
Boredom, daydreaming, a good book, building in three dimensions, interactivity with other humans – these are precious skills, skills that are being denied kids that are simply given a plate of chicken fingers and a tablet instead.**
We find ourselves in an astonishing world with our incredible consciousness.
We are capable of taking things that exist and imagining them into something quite different.
This has certainly spiralled in our recent history. What had once been available to a few is now made available to the many, beginning with education and most obviously in technology. However accessibility brings with it the danger of mindlessness. Ben Hardy writes:
‘If you’re mindless, then you don’t notice nuance.’^
Seth Godin fears we are becoming “digital zombies.”**
Richard Sennett is perhaps describing something we are losing when he describes prehension:
‘Prehension signals alertness, engagement, and risk-taking all in the act of looking ahead […].’
When we notice more, we resist rigidification caused by the rewiring of our brains through technology, our thinking becomes more expansive, adaptive, and, therefore imaginative.
There are some interesting years ahead but I hope they will be interesting because we are exploring new rites of passage that make it possible for people to live analogue-ically as well as digitally, towards what Karen Armstrong reminds us the best myths or meta-stories have always encouraged us towards:
‘The myth of the hero told people what they had to do to unlock their own heroic potential.’^^
(*From Richard Rohr’s Adam’s Return.)
(**From Seth Godin’s blog: The digital divide is being flipped.)
(^From Benjamin Hardy’s Willpower Doesn’t Work.)
(^^From Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to A Compassionate Life.)