We are vastly overstimulated on all sensory fronts.
We are inundated with data that never stops streaming into our consciousness.
We are breathlessly preoccupied, disturbed and pulled in myriad directions as we try to respond…
Life is inexorably moving toward smaller and smaller "bytes" of information.
Decades ago I read a book my Neil Postman - Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Bueiness. In that book, Postman talked about the decline in literacy an substantial thought processes. He asked - what will leaders do in light of the overwhelming cultural tide that is sweeping in upon us?
(By the way, this book is as timely and relevant today as when it was first published and eminently readable.)
Here is a VERY GOOD QUOTE from Postman... well worth reading and your sustained reflection... and then responsible action.
Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism.
Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance.
Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions". In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure.
In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.
This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right. (Postman)
Huxley to the left and Orwell on the right.
Today, these same issues must be faced. What are leaders to do in a Sound-Byte world where what we love is ruining us?
Do we allow it to defeat us.
This image is found here.
Do we ignore it.
Begrudging flow with it
Redeem it (can it be redeemed)?
I believe we need to take a vigorous stance against these cultural shifts. Superlative leadership and outstanding communication is the need of this hour. Leaders who learn and think and reflect and discern and pray AND THEN boldly act . . .
Will you and I be such leaders?
Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International