Something Is Deeply Wrong

The average guy spends ten thousand hours playing video games by age twenty-one.

The Belt & Road Today

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A Story

Something is deeply wrong. The story goes like this: It’s the height of British colonialism. An English traveler lands in Africa, intent on a rapid journey into the jungle. He charters some local porters to carry his supplies. After an exhausting day of travel, all on foot, and a fitful night’s sleep, he gets up to continue the journey. But the porters refuse. Exasperated, he begins to cajole, bribe, plead, but nothing works. They will not move an inch. Naturally, he asks why. Answer? They are waiting “for their souls to catch up with their bodies.” Lettie Cowman, in her telling of this story, wrote, “This whirling rushing life which so many of us live does for us what that first march did for those poor jungle tribesmen. The difference: they knew what they needed to restore life’s balance; too often we do not.” - Comer, John Mark. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry (pp. 45-46). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

A Musing

This year. 2020. The year of the Pandemic is happening to us way too fast. Things that are so surreal that we never would have imagined in a thousand lifetimes have become commonplace. Our “new normal” is so far from normal that we all feel untethered and unsure of the basic certainties of life that we used to take for granted. Much like the story related above it feels as though we need to take a break to wait for our souls to catch up with our bodies. Otherwise, we will have no chance of making sense of any of this.

In a world where you can’t go anywhere and you are forced to distance yourself from others, it is natural that you should spend some time thinking about what is important to you and how you spend your time. How have you been spending your 2020, the year of the Pandemic? Do you (will you?) have any regrets?

A Fact

This one really blew me away. Honestly. And I co-founded a company that makes video games. Ironic, huh?

Most of us waste copious amounts of time. Myself included. For all the talk about hurry and overload, most of it is self-inflicted. Philip Zimbardo’s recent research on the “Demise of Guys” (i.e., the crisis of masculinity in Western culture) has concluded the average guy spends ten thousand hours playing video games by age twenty-one. Ten thousand hours. My mind jumps to the research around this rule; in ten thousand hours, you could master any craft or become an expert in any field—from Sumerian archeology to Olympic water polo. You could get your bachelor’s degree and your master’s degree. You could memorize the New Testament. Or, you could beat level four of Call of Duty. - Comer, John Mark. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry (p. 71). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

A Book