0264 – Hurry up!

What does efficiency mean to you?

During my trip to California this past weekend, I had plans to travel from San Rafael, CA (an hour north of the Golden Gate Bridge) to San Francisco State University for a meeting, then to Stanford University to visit the reportedly gorgeous campus. Turns out that the campus is absolutely gorgeous, but that’s besides the point here. So what’s my point?

I was waiting for a bus that’s supposed to come at 8.33am in the morning. The bus showed up 15 minutes late. Surprise surprise. So much for efficiency huh. An hour and a half later, I couldn’t be pissed off any longer, because somehow the bus maneuvered its way to be on time. Then, I took the Muni train in an expensive but effortless trip. Everything is timed, so you don’t really get too agitated waiting for the trains. After my meeting, I took the Muni train to the BART station. Here’s where the fun really begins. The short story: Got to the BART. Waited 10 mins for a train to Millbrae Station. Was given 3 mins to transfer to the Caltrain. Took the bullet Caltrain to Palo Alto. The bus to Stanford came 2 minutes after. It was amazingly efficient. I appreciated that they planned all this out to make the trip as short as possible.

But.. it was also incredibly stressful.

And is it really necessary?

 

Time plays a disconcertingly powerful role in our world. I often feel like I’m on such a tight calendar and forced to always worry about the future. I’m forced to plan what I’m going to do next. I’m forced to make  In an increasingly busy world, we expect things to run on time and everything to be on schedule. Efficiency is king. The slow falls behind. And if you consider the rarity of the ‘fast and steady’ breed, then I can generalize that the steady falls behind as well. Efficiency, one of the knights of our society, yells

‘Hurry up!’

 

What if I don’t want to hurry up? Can I refuse?

 

What does time do for us anyway? What does efficiency mean?

 

Efficiency boosts our productivity perhaps, but does it boost our well-being. Research has shown that time balance is one of the keys to happiness. Why do we jam-pack our days and expects things to always function efficiently? Why are we expected to be doing something on the time? What’s it all in the name of? Efficiency? GDP? Wealth? Success? Or worse, happiness?

 

Maybe we should slow down. Maybe we can slow down. Maybe we can slow down and take in everything that’s around us and cherish the relationships we have. Maybe we can slow down and understand who we are and get inspired by our nature.

 

Hurry up! It’s time to slow down.

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0263 – The Bioneers Experience

Wow. I haven’t blogged in almost a month. How time flies. I’m here today because I just capped one of the most, if not the most, amazing weekend of my life at the Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, CA that I had the pleasure of attending.

What in the world is a Bioneer, you ask?

It is a new word, a neologism coined in 1990. A bioneer is “a biological pioneer, an ecological inventor who’s got an elegant and often simple set of solutions for environmental conundrums.” Bioneers is a New Mexico-based nonprofit organization promoting practical and innovative solutions to environmental and social problems based in a philosophy which recognizes the aliveness, interdependence, and intelligence of the natural world. The conference, held annually, brings Bioneers together from all over the country and even from overseas. There were speakers and workshops on a variety of issues, including happiness, consciousness, clean energy, education, biomimicry, green design, entrepreneurship, indigenous rights and law.

Boy, I felt right at home. What an experience it was.

For a long time I’ve been looking for a community of like-minded people, a forum where thoughts and ideas are exchanged in the interest of the greater good amidst thunderous applause, and a place where my soul can seek comfort in the deep sense of kinship with everyone around. For at least the past two months, I’ve overworked myself day in and day out. I had little time to just ‘be.’ I had no time to listen to my soul. When I felt physically sick, I went to the doctor and took the prescribed medication. I recovered physically, but, little did I know, my soul continued to be malnourished. The emptiness was palpable, and my soul was protesting in its starvation. Bioneers was the much-needed nourishment that couldn’t have come at a better time.

During the conference, I would at times feel the sound of my spirit chime in with the choir of hope and consciousness that the Bioneers have worked so hard to establish. The conference provided a spiritual uplift that allowed me to feel the most at peace with the surroundings than I’ve been in what seems like forever. For that, I am eternally grateful.

The Bioneers Conference has opened my eyes both to the selfless and relentless efforts of other individuals to make this world a better place and a multitude  of troubling issues I’ve never thought about before. This world is so much more complex and faces so many more challenges than I could ever imagine or feel. It is a common theme for the speakers to come up to the podium and start off with a variation of ‘You know, when I am with you guys, somehow the world is okay.’

Bioneers gave me that kind of hope. It also gave me the comfort to know that I have kindred spirits who face the same challenges I do and share the same despair I do. But most importantly, it is a spiritual feast, a feast that have energized me to continue to push for our much-needed paradigm shift.

This is the year.

I encourage my friends  to catch some of the videos, available online for free for a month, of some of these phenomenal speakers. It’s at http://www.bioneerslive.org/vod.html.