The nature of attention begs for our…attention. With time flying by as we seek to fill every second with work and play, we learn to juggle tasks and as a result our grip on everything becomes either too loose or too tight. The idea, as of late, has been that multi-tasking is a skill to be developed, a positive tool that serves to make us all more efficient and effective. Left accustomed to this mode of being, we fail to notice that the quality of our general work declines and falls permanently to the level of chronic mediocrity.
Our bodies and their nerves, too, suffer from the strain as pressure and stress mix together to create a sense of urgency to throw and catch balls of frantic or careless activity. The muscles tighten as we tense up to complete one thing while managing several others. Our perception of time races up and morning meets night with merely a few blinks and nervous switches of the eye. If the planet were an observation room for an alien scientist, I promise you he would find it all quite strange and bizarre to witness über-monkeys pace around beyond their means by an endless stream of ever so subtle panic.
The notion that it is good and right to develop and hone the capacity to multi-task is undeniably ludicrious for anyone who lives out in the country or the safe havens of towns still unburdened by the conditions of modernity. Men and women may be able to do a certain task, such as their speciality in profession, to a high enough degree, yet an unwholesome touch meets every other form of activity, though romance may be an exception.
The mind is left idle and this is by far one of the most important culprits to catch. We have to stop ourselves from automatically wandering off into the past, future and the lateral conditions of the present. Our attention has to be brought back to the singular objective of the moment that is before our eyes, and to carefully stay tuned to it until its sweet or bitter end. This is the only way by which we acquire the right to call ourselves human, and not machine. For this is exactly what the habit of juggling engenders, an organic creature having gone mad with a fanciful frenzy towards what has been underlined as the agenda of the day.
It is curious to note that we can begin to weigh the quality of a man according to the observations of his most simple gestures, like the quality of his gait, twitches and ticks, pace of chatter and the heaviness of his breath. All the symptoms are available here to be witnessed and they come down to a creature which has been trained to live a self-abusive life which does not value the space between the particles, or activities, of our lives. It is this space, the wide dividers, which allows us to pay real care and attention to what is in our laps at this very moment.
We are led to believe that we are in a race, with a vague finish line and an army of fellow rats to compete with. We are told, perhaps only implicitly, that there isn’t enough to go around and that a door opened in one moment will be surely shut in the next. So for this reason and for our own dear sake we rush towards the influences of life in order to sow and reap as quickly as possible, as if the seasons of fruition can be sped up by anxiously jumbling everything together with an ever ambitious stride. Yet the story of the rabbit and turtle, and the flock of sheep herded all together, shed light on a far more genuine and opposing truth.