When is a snowstorm just a snowstorm? When is it Armageddon in white? The recent reports of the snowstorm that was “on target” to hit Toronto got me to thinking — how do we discern what is truly urgent from what is not?
We live in a world of instant access to information. We have seen the power of being able to “message out” important, game changing events that ultimately impact all of our lives. The Middle East, over the past few weeks, is a great case in point regarding the power of instant communication. Nothing is more important than getting the facts that help to sort through information. It behooves us to sift through information in a methodical and strategic way. This is a good thing.
Still, we live in a world of 24-hour news channels and 24-hour weather news, and both of these have become part of our “entertainment” psyche. As such we have an insatiable appetite for jarring and ever larger tragedy and events in real time as they unfold. Ratings rely on our constant monitoring of this increasingly “more dangerous and uninviting world”. At least as it looks from these newsfeeds.
The question that concerns me is — are we creating a paradigm where we rely on crisis and urgency to rule decisions and our lives? What are we in danger of if we lose our perspective on what is truly urgent? How will this impact our daily living, our sense of creativity, or our business decisions?
What is true urgency? How, as consumers of information, do we discern what our priorities should be, what our focus should be, how we need to organize our world to support the space that brings joy and creativity? Do we need to turn off the world or can we become more selective and educated in how we take in information and sort through it?
Learning to be selective, remaining informed, making time to be engaged in creativity, engaging in self-trust and solid instincts aren’t just flaky ideas. They are necessary to inform us, to direct us towards informed and solid decision-making. We need these to keep our lives balanced and positively directed.
So, when a major storm is predicted, perhaps the best reality check is to look out the window and see for yourself.