Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Myth of Being Indispensable

While waiting for a flight at the airport, I used  my phone to send a message to  my wife, respond to a request to serve as a reference for a friend, and check the weather at my destination.  As I made a necessary visit before boarding, I noted a Bathroom attendant who was multitasking--cleaning up and taking what appeared to be a personal call at the same time.

I started thinking, "What did we do when we did not have cell phones to keep us connected 24/7?"  In reality, we did rather well.  

It's nice to be connected but this availability may well perpetuate the myth that somehow I am  indispensable.  If the world can't get in touch with me instantaneously, will things grind to a halt? I doubt it.

In the past, we might be out of touch with family and friends for days at a time.  Few of us have had the experience of founding father John Adams  who spent years in Europe separated from his beloved Abigal, but their experience shows us that marriage and family can survive separation.  Life went on.

I spent a year in Vietnam and communication with my wife was provided only by letter and a couple of phone calls.  This was not a happy situation, but each of us found we could make the necessary decisions of daily life without hourly communication. I hate to say it, but she got along without me very well!

What's my point?  Perhaps it would better if family, friends, and colleagues could not get in touch with us instantaneously.  They would make decisions for themselves and we would learn that we are not as important as we think we are.

In the meantime, I have a call to make.

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