This World’s Hectic Pace
DOES THE PACE OF LIFE TEND TO OVERWHELM YOU AT TIMES? DOES IT LEAVE YOU FRUSTRATED, TIRED, BARELY ABLE TO COPE? IF SO, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
MILLIONS of people, especially in cities, find that life has become a dizzying, exhausting rush. This is particularly so in Western lands. At a recent religious meeting in the United States, a speaker asked his audience to raise their hands if they felt tired much of the time. Instantly, a sea of hands went up.
The book Why Am I So Tired? says: “Modern life is full of hitherto unheard of tensions—planes to be caught, deadlines to be met, children to be taken to and picked up from pre-school on time—the list is endless.” It is hardly surprising that tiredness has been described as the bane of our times.*
In years gone by, life was simpler, and the pace of life was slower. People tended to live more in harmony with the cycles of nature—daytime was for work, and nighttime was for one’s family and for bed. Today, there are a number of reasons why people feel increasingly tired and fatigued.
Suddenly, Longer Days
One factor may be that people sleep less. And one of the more significant developments that made inroads into sleep time was the arrival of the electric light. With the flick of a switch, humans could control the length of the “day,” and people soon began staying up later. Indeed, many had little choice in the matter because factories began to operate around the clock and service industries extended their hours. One writer said: “The twenty-four-hour society was born.”
Other technological advances, such as radio, TV, and the personal computer, have also played a role in depriving people of needed sleep. In many lands, TV programs run 24 hours a day. It is not unusual for movie lovers or sports fans to turn up at work sleepy and tired after a long night’s viewing. Home computers, and the endless distractions that they offer, also entice millions to stay up late. Of course, these products in themselves are not at fault; nonetheless, they do provide some people an added incentive to brush aside the need for rest.
Life Speeds Up
Not only have our days become longer but life itself seems to move faster—once again facilitated by technology. The horse-drawn carriage of less than a century ago is a far cry from today’s fast cars, bullet trains, and jet airplanes. In fact, a modern-day businessman, whose grandfather probably either walked to work or rode a horse or a bicycle, may fly across the Atlantic Ocean between meals!
The office has also hosted a quiet revolution in the interests of speed and productivity. Typewriters and conventional mail have given way to computers, fax machines, and E-mail. Notebook computers, cellular phones, and pagers have even blurred the distinction between home and office.
Of course, none of us can slow the world’s accelerating pace. However, on a personal basis, we can make adjustments that enable us to live a more calm, balanced life. But before we consider this matter, let’s examine some of the effects that today’s frantic pace can have on us personally and on society as a whole.
Chronic tiredness can also be due to or be exacerbated by a number of factors besides daily tensions. Causes may include physical health problems, poor diet, drugs, chemical pollution, mental and emotional problems, old age, or a combination of these factors.