Thursday, September 17, 2015

Time to Think

I'm awake at 5:00 am. Out of bed, exercise, do some chores, pack our lunches, take a shower, eat breakfast, read a few pages and off I go to work. Sound familiar? There's more. On my way home from work, I stop at the supermarket to pick up dinner food and the library to drop off books. I take in the trash cans, drop the groceries and start cooking, check my email, have dinner with my husband, do the dishes and collapse exhausted in front of my computer where this blog waits. Great! Time to write!

Unfortunately, by this time of day, my brain is foggy and tired, too tired to think deeply and critically. Tonight, though, I promised myself and you, gentle reader, that nothing would stop me from posting. Hell, the topic is right in front of us: we don't have time to think!

More specifically, we don't have that particular quality of time we need to think deeply and critically, and whether or not the dominators set it up this way on purpose, our lack of time to think certainly meets their needs. They prefer us to remain unthinking. They like us accepting, stupid, tired and disengaged. They want us too busy to think, because if we started thinking, deeply and critically and in large numbers, we might begin to notice the wheel on which we spin away our lives. Their wheel, the one that spins raw materials into gold.

The dominators learned their lesson about the dangers of an educated populace in the 1960s and since then, quietly but decisively, they've stolen away the quality of time we need to think.

Here's how it happened. After the Second World War, education blossomed. Children were expected to finish high school, and high school graduates went on to college in record numbers. The GI Bill swelled the ranks of university men and modern young women joined them. By the mid-60s, the boomer generation was in full bloom and these young adults were smart, educated and politically engaged. 

We were not only an educated group. We had more leisure time than ever before. In fact, there was so much more time available to the middle class that we expected a four-day work week to become typical. We developed hobbies. We traveled. We talked. We learned. We hung out. We connected.

Educated people with time to think, and too numerous to ignore, the youth of America were questioning authority, seeing new possibilities and experimenting with mind expansion and spirituality. We were poised to bring down the dominator structure and replace it with love, love, love but they caught on to us . . .

Now, we don't have time to think. Instead of questioning or getting angry about this lack of time, the vast majority of time-pressed and anxious Americans turn to the internet for guru wisdom: you just have to manage your time better, say the gurus. It's your problem, not a social problem. Prioritize. Multitask. Buy time-saving products. Bullshit!

Time to think is subversive and we have to fight for it! Turn off the television set. Let the dishes sit in the sink. Read, talk, and take time every week just to think about things. You deserve it. Your time is your birthright. Take your time back using sick days. Take it back with excuses and lies, but take some time to think deeply and critically about the world around us, before you forget how.

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