I have a privileged slot in the pecking order when it comes to buying gasoline. What I mean is that I don’t have to buy much of it. I work at home and 90% of my everyday commerce is conducted electronically. I emailed an entire construction specification manual today by email. It was the 4th book I have written in 3 weeks that reached its end user without my use of gasoline.
Taking advantage of the information age was a decision I made 10 years ago and it has paid far more lifestyle and financial dividends than I would ever have imagined. I don’t have to wear clothes when I’m working. I am able to do my run and weight training on a regular schedule since I don’t have a boss and can work deep into the night if I need to. I only drive in rush hour traffic if I happen to go temporarily brain dead and schedule a meeting in downtown
I’m not bragging, just feeling good about my circumstances. I know there are millions of Americans, especially young Americans with families that drive many miles to work for small wages. Surely this gas situation is a huge strain for them. I have empathy.
Still, maybe there is good that can come from the situation. Maybe more of us will learn to work from home and take full advantage of the new information age, lowering carbon emissions and simultaneously shooting a middle finger toward
Maybe we will all stay home and become Guitar Hero legends. I can play Black Magic Woman now as well as any fifth grader on his second try and I’ve only been practicing for 2 months.
Maybe we will find something far more important. Maybe we will rediscover the simplicity of right now. That may be a confusing sentence without context, so let me explain. The frenetic pace of our culture has taught us to scurry like mice on a wheel. We run from here to there with a sense of urgency not limited by space, distance or the cost of fuel. In the course of that scurrying and the brain patterning that accompanies it have we lost our sense of simplicity, planning and the idea of being present in the now? Have we lost sunsets and meaningful conversation?
All that may seem a tad gray or old fashioned. Sorry for sounding like an old coot that don't need no gas.
Maybe what we will learn is that we have a new purpose and stewardship not only with our energy and environment, but also with our personal sense of where we are going as individual souls and why we are going there. Maybe we will have time to ask the question "why are we always needing to travel so far outside ourselves and at such a rapid pace." If we run fast enough might we be able to escape ourselves? A Jackson Browne lyric observes, "no matter how fast I run, I can never get away from me."
If we all had more time to sit at peace outside the immediate view of our steering wheels and gas gages and think about our lives and our perspective of the 'right now', is that really a negative?
You tell me.