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…oil and water

December 17, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

I often think about the impact technology has on our lives. The fact that we are constantly connected to one another, whether we like it not, can be a daunting one. Digital peer pressure and the expectation for prompt answers (regardless of time) to various forms of communications seems to be increasing.

What was once a notion of work-life balance has become a concept of work-life integration. In some cases, there is a clear line when one is “off” from their job. That being said, in many careers in globally connected companies – that line has become nothing more than a gradient.

We should accept this new normal and its impacts our lives. We must learn to ensure that we maintain a vigil in under/over commitment towards one end of the extreme or the other. It is no longer enough to balance. I believe that balance assumes a fulcrum of some sort exists as well as a clear understanding of the “weight” on each side. This is largely a fallacy.

I’ll argue that the weight is continuously shifting so much as a focus on balance has become a source of conflict. If we focus in integrating the two, I believe that allows for less personal energy expenditure on a perceived balance.

This allows us to focus on what’s important at the moment while operating within a larger context.

…make wise choices.

-sk

  1. December 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    I would agree that constant interconnectivity is a fact of life in our postmodern society – particularly for those caught up in large corporate subcultures. That’s not necessarily bad. But beneath it all, postmodern culture, which corporate culture is greatly magnifies, puts intense pressure on the individual to conform to the needs of the moment – to function on a sliding scale based on the perceived priorities of the “here and now” – to focus on self-preservation to the exclusion of all else. This relativistic norm, which philosophers of the previous generation termed, “situation ethics” has led to human persons to behaving in whatever manners (or taking whatever actions) “feel right” in the moment. Like ships without rudders, we now bounce through life like balls in some cosmic pinball machine. But in so doing, we have denied the standards of behavior, of truth – and yes, even of beauty that previous generations held sacred. We have lost respect for authority, for others, and ultimately for ourselves.

    The truths (proofs) of this are self-evident. One sees them every day. We, as a society, as a culture and as individuals, have forgotten that we are accountable to ourselves, our fellow men, and ultimately to our Creator. The teacher in Ecclesiastes instructs us (in 3:13 and elsewhere) to “take pleasure in (our) toil….” (ESV). But whether one believes in God or not, there is within each of us a sense of Moral Law, or Law of Human Nature, a Law of what is Right and what is Wrong – a Law of Common Decency. We feel it every time someone cuts us off, butts in front of us, wins the big contract…. “It’s not fair!” we cry. Where does that cry come from?

    Like a child begging for a piece of candy, this Rule of Right and Wrong (or whatever else you might call it) nags at each of us. And because of it, there is buried (sometimes very deeply) within each of us, the realization that there is something above and beyond the ordinary facts of human existence: something that is real – a real law, not made by the imagination of men, pressing in upon us.

    This Law is obviously not something that pays in the normal sense. As C.S. Lewis wrote almost 70 years ago (in “Mere Christianity”), “it has more to do with working honestly when it would be easier to cheat, leaving a girl alone when you would rather make love to her, staying in dangerous places when you would rather go somewhere safe, keeping promises you would rather not keep, and telling the truth even when it makes you look like a fool.”

    Why should we follow this Law? Of what possible benefit can we gain by its observance? Simply this: however we choose to behave has ramifications far beyond our immediate circumstances. We can never predict how what we do – or what we say – will impact the attitudes and subsequent behaviors of others. That statement is obvious for those in positions of responsibility. But also applies to all of us, regardless of our stations in life. Paul admonishes the us to avoid placing stumbling blocks in front of others (Rom. 13:15, 1 Cor. 8:9, et al.) But let’s face it: if the universe is not subject to an overriding, governing force of absolute good, then it’s “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die!” Those are the watchwords of contemporary culture; but our innate knowledge of the Moral Law tells us: it is a lie. Oh, we may deny it, but our actions and attitudes ultimately circle back upon us. (“What goes around….”) I’ve seen it happen many times as, no doubt, have you.

    So what does all this have to do with the price of eggs? Why have I taken the time and expended the energy to write this? For this reason: I had a good career in Corporate America. I did what I thought “had to be done.” (Machiavelli would have been proud!) But along the way, I lost a part of my humanity. It took being laid-off, among other not-so-nice shocks, for me to realize (Ecclesiastes again) that “all is vanity.” By the grace of God, I have recovered some of what I had lost – and gained far more than I ever imagined: the sure and certain knowledge that there is a God; a God who loves us, who sent his Son to die for us, who calls us to something better than the ephemeral trappings our postmodern culture terms, “success”, who calls us to something REAL! My parents taught this to me as a boy, but it took a lifetime for it to begin to sink in. I hope that you – and any others who might read this – will take this lesson to heart sooner than I.

    No, I haven’t “lost my marbles” or “have a loose screw” – though many will conclude that that’s the case(!). No, I write this because I care about you – and about your impact upon those around you. You are a thoughtful man with much to offer the world. May your contributions be a blessing to it.

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