Blur: The Speed of Change in the Connected Economy was a popular book several years ago. It described how things are changing so fast in today’s world that everything seems to be in a blur. Moore’s law, for example, states that the power of microprocessor chips would double every eighteen months. So, we get products and gadgets that become obsolescent even before they have outlived their useful life. I remember that we had just one and the same radio during my growing up years. Today, people change their phones, TV sets, computers almost every other year. The computer itself has gone from the desktop to the laptop to the notebook to the tablet and on to a wearable device. Even the difference between a phone and a computer is swiftly getting blurred.
In the midst of all these changes, there is another blurring that worries me. There also seems to be a blurring of principles and morals. Man has always lived within certain boundaries and nature has always followed a certain rhythm. Now, these boundaries and rhythms are also getting blurred. It used to be men lived by the rhythm of the harvest. There was a time for sowing and there was a time for reaping. There was a season for fruits and a season for vegetables. Now, crops are grown the whole year round and fruits are available in season and out of season. It used to be daytime was for work and human activities; and nighttime was for rest and recharging. Now, people are up and about 24/7. Today, crops are crossed to produce new fruits, animals are cloned and people are not just a man and a woman anymore. Even in nature, we get rains in summer, hot days in winter and not to mention the massive floods and other weather aberrations.
I enjoy and marvel at man’s inventions and all the changes happening around me. I could probably not live my life as I am living it now without many of these things. But often, I wonder and become afraid of the implications of all these changes. With moral boundaries getting blurred, what and who is now to say what is right or wrong? Some of the thinking that arises out of all these changes and blurring strikes real fear in me. Like, some people believe that if something can be done, we should do it. Or others believe that if they can afford it, they can have it. And the most pernicious of all: if it feels good (as in eye candy or ear candy or others pleasurable thing), do it!
Men, and I, have to stop and think through all of these changes. I have to learn to slow down, be silent and savor all the changes rather than be overwhelmed by it all. I need to stop and smell the flowers, to feel the warmth of a human embrace, rather than the heat from an overworked machine. The spiral of changes goes faster and faster and I become dazed and everything indeed looks like a blur. Many today feel like shouting: “Stop the world. I wanna get off.”
Through the ages and from deep within my heart, a voice says: “You will know them by their fruits.”
Jesus told the crowds, “Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Thus you will know them by their fruits.””