Good-bye, cell phone; hello, birdies

Update: Wanna be less busy? There’s still time!

No “Skype Walk-in” this Thursday or Saturday, but there are still openings for the upcoming “Skype Workshop.”

Would another day work for “Skype Walk-in”? Let me know!

So you got rid of your cell phone?

Yeah.

What are you going to do now?

Eat, pray, and love.

Oh, come on, sensei. Seriously.

OK, seriously: I’ll listen to the church bells, to the birdsong, to voices. Give clearer instructions. Take responsibility for my words. Learn patience. Love chance.

And what if there’s an emergency?

I’ll cry for help…. “Help! Help! Save me, Popeye, saaaaave me!”

Fine: I’ll use my wits. That’s it.

But why do you seem to think that you can have an insurance policy for everything life throws your way? Has it ever occurred to you that we live with Black Swans? Rumsfeldianly: It’s not the known knowns or the known unknowns that’ll bite you in the ass. It’s the unknown unknowns. For them, cell phones are a faint cry in the dark. Woof.

So you’d rather be helpless? Is that it?

No, I’d rather look at the situation and think on my toes. Be reasonable and rely on my judgment.

Frankly, here’s what I don’t get about the whole cell phone culture. How can you build a life based on the idea of catastrophe? It’s as though you were advocating building a police state based on 911. Really. Or as if you were building a parenting model based on the ungrounded fear that your child could be harmed by a pedaphile.

You’re totally weird. You know that, right? I mean cell phones are convenient. They make my life so much easier.

Oh? Consider all the texting you do to set up appointments that are then canceled at the last minute. That’s convenient. Or all the time spent consulting a smart phone in lieu of using your reason. All the hang-ups and the break-ups and the disputes rattled off in these lonely tete-a-tetes. All the half-chewed-on thoughts in need of instant expression. All the checking and re-checking and anxiety and anticipation. All the minutes and the hours. Oh, yes, how convenient. God forbid we should have to listen to each other and commit ourselves to something. Yes, God actually forbid this.

Come on, the truth is that you’re free-riding. All this florid talk is only covering up your irresponsibility. After all, you’re taking advantage of everyone else having a cell. So you can get rid of your cell and then expect everyone else to bend to your will. You’re strong-arming, and you won’t admit it.

I can’t put it to you any more simply than this: If you’ve got your life in order, then the idea of having a cell will no longer make sense to you. We think that it’s  a solution to being so busy when in reality it’s a symptom of a busy life that’s making us unhappy and leaving us depleted.

I’d be happy if everyone else also got rid of their cell phones. Forget about time management, attend to your soul, and life will go well.

So intoneth the Zen Master… Koan me!

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