A Commercial Message

>     I am in the habit of briefly tuning in to some talk radio shows each morning just to get the drift of each day’s stories before I write my blog. This morning, Glenn Beck was doing a commercial at the end of one of the segments. It was for a product that let’s you access the files on your PC from any computer no matter where you are. As part of the sales pitch, he said that he no longer believes in a “balanced” life but now believes in an “integrated” one. In support of his new perspective, he gave the example of how he now does his “homework” along side his children while they are doing theirs and he “learns more about what’s going on” in their lives this way than in prior deliberate attempts to converse with them.
    No offense, Glenn, but any mother who has ever driven her child to or from anywhere as part of her job description, or stayed home with a child who wasn’t feeing well and read a story or played a game to pass the time, knows that you learn more about your child in those unscripted moments than in all your deliberate efforts combined.
    Now I understand that Glenn is a Dad and not a Mom so (sexism aside) it may have taken him a decade or two (and a child or four) longer to figure this out. Plus, he’s got a pretty demanding career. But the fact that this was some sort of revelation for him made me think that perhaps it’s worth elaborating upon.
    When people bemoan “the good old days” it’s often a longing for a time recalled only for it’s high points and little else. For in reality, there is no “good old day” that was exempt from all the fundamental challenges of Life. However, one legitimate yearning for what was may be for a time when things were slower paced, and therefore, created more “space” between obligations that allowed us as people, and particularly as parents, to just “hang out” with one another. It’s in “hanging out” that we discover the little things about others that are not always readily apparent…and certainly not knowable “on the run.”
    The pace of the technology has created many “overlays” between aspects of our lives better kept separate. This makes it imperative that we re-prioritize our obligations based upon our inner-most intentions in order to bring enhanced meaning to relationships…personal and professional.
    One caution about Mr. Beck’s concept of an integrated life as opposed to a balanced one. It’s possible to be integrated and out of balance at the same time. These are not mutually exclusive concepts. You can find a way to bring diverse aspects of your life into new relationship to one another and still have a disproportionate amount of time and energy going to some parts as opposed to others.
    And by the way, it’s also possible to integrate the various aspects of your life in form only without being fully conscious and aware of their substance or, for that matter, what your responsibility is in relationship to it all.
    I do offer congratulations to Mr. Beck for his awakening around this subject. I would only suggest that he, as should we all, seek to create paced, balanced and integrated lives that manifest the best of what we are capable of as Beings Human.

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