Are We Losing the Skill of Contemplation?
After being quite taken back recently by an unnecessarily harsh critique on social media of one of my artist’s works, it started to dawn on me how maybe our skills of contemplation are being lost because of the urgency of communication these days.A very wise friend of mine once suggested that if I had something negative to write, to lay it out, then sleep on it. Then in the morning, reread before sending. I still hold that as one of the most precious pieces of advice I’ve ever been given.
With the immediacy of social media and emails these days, I feel we’re at risk of losing that art of contemplation. Like this person who just wrote what was on their mind about that artwork at that moment without a thought for the person who created it: someone who has spent hours working on their passion and years on their craft, only to be doused by one careless outburst of un-contemplated thought.
My belief in humanity hopes that that person didn’t think as far as to the consequences of their words, but as we’re becoming a generation of instant outpourings, I wonder if we’re at risk of losing the skill of contemplation in communication; something that would have taken much more care and forethought back in the days of hand-written letters.
My newsletters fall into that category. I write a brief outline of what’s been on my mind and then hone its message and tone over many sittings (you really don’t want to read the first version of this one! ;0-).
Being a writer, I enjoy the process of honing what I write so the words have the right tone and meaning. With over a million words at our disposal, many of us may only use less than 1%, but even with that small number, wouldn’t it be wondrous is we chose to use words of empowerment over thoughtlessness?