Sunday, 22 December 2013

Where are we going?

I have as far as I recall covered this topic a number of times. Whether focused on work or leisure activities in the past, this one is here to help you stop for a moment and take in the massive amount of hours put in to our daily lives without recognising the great machine we are all gradually turning.

This week I had a very surreal meeting, the context was so big and powerful, my role just doesn’t justify what people who have serious management and operational roles may have to do in their day to day lives. When you consider your own role, there are a number of other people who are working behind the scenes to make it the day to day life continue from the front desk to the top table. And that was just it; the top table had to work at the same level as my world – all be it another team mainly does it, to ensure everyone was safe and no long term issues would arise. Decisions are made just as fast and as easily, it’s just bigger digits on the bill exist, with higher consequences for getting it wrong.

So on my train journey home, I found myself observing all my fellow passengers, but the number of us who get off and have to wander the corridors, fill in spreadsheets and hold debates over topics from the mundane to the important. Whilst we all might hide behind catch up TV and iPods on the train, we may well be sitting next to somebody who has decided to change your life – for better or worse who knows. You may have sat next to someone designing a new phone, social media site, well known journalist or a government worker without realising.

Dealing with all the daily minutiae, means we forget to check in on the wider important aspects, we get tired and bored of doing the same old task. So sometimes a little perspective is required, what if it turned out you had that dreaded phone call of a loved one dying or witnessing a traffic accident where someone was seriously hurt. Would you manage to get through that trauma and not take stock and reassess what were doing in life? If you really said no and meant it, I have to ask if you have any empathy and care of other people around you.

We are forever seeing in the news about how someone was killed by a violent act, maybe at war, maybe a crime. The news has a way of making it all seem normal and either help make your point or give the complete opposite account, we are numbed to the violence because it’s through the TV and so regular. The issue is we are so used to hearing about bad things in the news we don’t take it in, but if that news report was very close to your heart you would pay more attention to it. Swap from bad traffic incidents in the news where a certain number are serious injured to having a doctor ring and tell you a family member or friend was involved in the same type of accident. These are different feelings, so it’s important to note what’s happened, take it all in and formulate a new plan to make it better…after all life is only short.

If we didn’t keep trying to improve life, it wouldn’t be worth living. We need that time to step back and evaluate what’s been happening, and take yourself out of your comfort zone to understand how other peoples lives are affect and how you can help them in the future. Maybe what needs to be done is a little bit of peace time to digest everything as I did…

…on my train rolling and rocking along, through the dark evening, listening to music, staring blissfully out the window trying to make out trees, houses and streets, I’ll never meet any of those people whose gardens I commute through, tired from all the days work, digesting what the people at the top table were having to go through to make sure myself and thousands of others were still safe the next day.

It’s definitely a strange feeling when you are in a meeting and the presenter brings up high profile characters and figures which could change everything very quickly. So as you can see, my little role just fills in with many others but contributes to a wider plan, only we don’t always get to see what the plan is or what the top table people were doing to oversee the success of larger issues whilst I deal with the smaller everyday ones I’m tasked with.

Where are we going?
I don’t know, but it’s enlightening to see that people at all levels have similar problems but just at a different scale. We sometimes need a little jolt to put everything into context and perspective otherwise the little problems would be unmanageable and actually, they are small enough because they might be forgotten about to make room for the important issues you really should be looking at when the time comes.

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