Five Essential Concepts To Live By - Dr. Shiva Ghaed
It is easy in today’s world to feel overwhelmed and consumed by just how much information there is available to us. Prior to the technological revolution, there were ample causes for distress, and now it seems ironic that the very tools intended to simplify our lives only appear to add to our to-do list, or burden us with more obligation rather than less. Technology intimidates and frightens many of us. And this virtual world will not slow down while some of us try to adapt and learn how to use each new application, program, or tool. If you’re over 40, you understand this all too well.
I grew up in a world where all we had was an oversized television (the old box- like version) with two antennae reaching three feet into the air. Sometimes a bit of tin foil would help with reception – that was our “high tech.” We bought cassette tapes of new artists, which used to be sold in any of the plethora of book and music stores accessible to all. Records were on their way out by the time I showed up on the scene, but tapes were in full swing. Now we have cell phones and computers, the Internet, and what seems like an infinite selection of different types and sizes of devices. We have smart phones, and as far as I am concerned, mine is likely much smarter than me because I somehow often find myself calling a customer service line for help with some basic function, only to find another machine directing me from one set of options to another. This process typically ends in frustration because the final (and often best) option is to return to cyberspace for guidance.
Regardless of how much technology takes over our lives, one simple truth remains: We are still human, with a full range of emotions and an unfathomably complex brain (that has not yet been truly replicated by computer intelligence), and it is not likely that a day will come when we do not interact to some extent with one another. True, one day robots may replace us for many daily tasks, however, we are social animals and like many other animal species we thrive when we are a part of a community. This is not unlike other species who survive and thrive in herds, packs, schools, prides, flocks, shivers, murders, and so forth and so on. I personally cannot conceive of anything that could replace the experience of a hug, a magical kiss, making love to someone you feel deeply connected to, or even the chemistry and synergy that exists when you are interacting with someone who intellectually, psychologically, and emotionally stimulates you (or your brain).
What does this mean? Well, it means that nothing will replace or compensate for our ability of lack thereof when it comes to learning how to socialize, interact, or think. At the end of the day, we are each responsible for ourselves, and this truly is all we actually have any control over or power to change. Therefore, I urge us all to not lose focus on this most “human” aspect of our lives in a vast sea of hiding behind monitors and screens. Because there is so much “noise” out there in cyberspace and when overwhelmed we tend to tune it all out, including the important or potentially helpful information, I packaged a set of “Bucket Rules” for my own patients several years ago. After years of observing the most common issues that presented in treatment and therapy groups, I realized that providing a handful of essential concepts to my patients may help them focus their efforts. This has been especially beneficial when working with people who have anxiety or depression, and thus have great difficulty with focus and concentration. They have trouble remembering much at all, so I’ve made it very simple for them. And now I’ve broken them down for you as well.