“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ~ Viktor E. Frankl
This quote has been a favourite since I first read it, and creating that space is something that I not only constantly try to work on, but also write about – the challenges and the learning. However, this post is on a tangent – what if we delay the stimulus itself? Yes, I admit it’s quite impossible to do that with people, but what about consumption in general? Given that we are now debating the direction(s) of the ‘arrow of time’, there’s no better time to discuss that space. After all, in my consumption, I am what is called the ‘observer’, and I’m the one creating the moment of interaction.
That wouldn’t be a problem, except for the increasing dominance of the urgent over the important. Seth Godin had a very interesting post titled “Spectator sports” about how we have taken the discourse around things of significance to the level of spectator sports because we can “vent without remorse.” A longer read in context is Helen Boaden’s commentary on the state of journalism as she retires from BBC Radio. The devices, features and services popping up around me indicate that ephemerality is trending upward. Think about the cycle – watch something live on TV, tweet about it/post on FB/Whatsapp, someone has a comment, a discussion ensues, and somehow inexplicably reaches generic areas of conflict like religion or liberalism (a variation of Godwin’s law, if you will) before the next cycle starts. Rinse, repeat. Did we have a discussion aimed at understanding each others’ perspective and expanding a worldview? More often than not, not! More