Multitasking with Gandhi and Goethe
THERE IS more to life than increasing its speed." (Gandhi
That quote came to mind when I read the front-page article "Pay attention!: Study says multitasking has few benefits" (Star-Bulletin, July 25), which said multitasking might be a necessity in today's fast-changing world.
When Gandhi made his comment more than a half-century ago, could he ever have imagined the kind of fast-paced, treadmill-like lifestyles that some of us now lead?
Could the high-stress pace of life help explain why voter participation in Hawaii is so low? And why fewer candidates now run for public office?
Isn't the increasing pace of life being fueled by the pace of change -- which also is accelerating?
Let's look at what the great minds of the past thought about change.
» "There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction." (Winston Churchill)
» "Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered from the better designedly." (Francis Bacon)
» "Change for the better is a full-time job." (Adlai Stevenson)
» "(The) rate of change has been vastly accelerated by numerous factors. Peril lies not in change but in that tremendous rate of change." (William O. Douglas, 1898-1980)
» "Methuselah lived to be 969 years old. You boys and girls will see more in the next 50 years than Methuselah saw in his whole lifetime." (Thomas Tusser, 1524-1580)
» "In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it." (Goethe)
» "Man has a limited biological capacity for change. When this capacity is overwhelmed, the capacity is in future shock." (Alvin Toffler)
» "Future shock is the shattering stress and disorientation that we induce in individuals by subjecting them to too much change in too short a time." (Alvin Toffler)
» "Society, community, family are all conserving institutions. They try to maintain stability, and to prevent, or at least to slow down, change. But the organization of the post-capitalist society of organizations is a destabilizer. Because its function is to put knowledge to work -- on tools, processes, and products; on work; on knowledge itself -- it must be organized for constant change." (Peter F. Drucker)
» "When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary." (Thomas Paine)
» "I may safely predict that the education of the future will be inventive-minded. It will believe so profoundly in the high value of the inventive or creative spirit that it will set itself to develop that spirit by all means within its power." (Harry Allen Overstreet, 1875-1970)
» "Study the past if you would define the future." (Confucius)
» "To select well among old things is almost equal to inventing new ones." (Nicholas Charles Trublet, 1697-1770)
» "If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it." (Lyndon B. Johnson)
» "All conservation is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change." (G.K. Chesterton, 1874-1936)
» "There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered." (Nelson Mandela)
In conclusion, what should we remember about adapting to change?:
» "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." (Krishnamurti, 1895-1986)
C. Ikehara lives in Aiea.