The Other I

November 4, 2010

On the mail boat

Filed under: Growing Old,Just Stuff — theotheri @ 9:07 pm

Modern communications systems are amazing.

And wonderful.

I mean, it is possible to communicate almost instantaneously with people anywhere on the planet, on land, sea, or even air.

But it does have a down-side.

It’s a lot harder to resist frenetic activity almost 24/7.

Email is my current object of attack.  For months now, I have been refusing to look at email in my in-box like a firecracker about to go off if I don’t answer it.  Or to scourge myself as an uncaring friend for letting it sit there for weeks unanswered.

I’m finding it a terrific practice.  These days I think of email waiting to be answered like a letter than has arrived by boat.  It can sit there being treasured rather than being on my conscience as some testimony to my slothfulness.

Some emails I answer immediately because what I want to say is right there practically jumping out of my head.  But some emails need time, need care, need thoughtfulness.  And feeling guilty about them does not help at all.

There’s a grace in slowing down sometimes.

I like to think this insight represents the achievement of a modicum of wisdom on my part.

But it could be that I’m just getting old, and making a virtue out of necessity.

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