Sunday, March 19, 2017

Modern life's aggressive haste

I have come to love Maria Popova's "Brain Pickings Weekly" - her compendium of articles, quotes, and ideas posted each Sunday. Now, having signed on to Twitter, I find that she posts daily there in "Brain Pickings."  I usually "retweet" her postings for later reading. 

The irony of the closeness of "retweet" to "retreat!"

But today I was reading something she posted about "Breaking the Trance of Busyness."

She quotes Herman Hesse, who laments how modern life's
"aggressive haste” — and what a perfect phrase that is — has “done away with what meager leisure we had.” He writes:

Our ways of enjoying ourselves are hardly less irritating and nerve-racking than the pressure of our work. “As much as possible, as fast as possible” is the motto. And so there is more and more entertainment and less and less joy… This morbid pursuit of enjoyment [is] spurred on by constant dissatisfaction and yet perpetually satiated.

Noting that he doesn’t have a silver bullet for the problem, Hesse offers:

I would simply like to reclaim an old and, alas, quite unfashionable private formula: Moderate enjoyment is double enjoyment. And: Do not overlook the little joys!
Even in these days when I have so much less to do than I did fifteen years ago, I still fall into the mindless busyness mode so easily.
But I don't overlook the little joys!
The latest little joy for me has been the discovery that those six or seven garden plants I was so worried about have survived the freezes and snows of last week!
Another daily little joy is to tune into the Service Dog Project's website and see what's happening there:

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