My mom used to tell me that “too much of anything is bad for you, even the good things.” This week I observed, yet another instance, where she was right. (Mom’s tend to be right more often than wrong). We are bombarded with so much data from so many different sources, that our day becomes a nonstop blur of information overload. Sometimes, it is as if we are characters in a bad horror movie, “Attack of the killer bits!” Mom would have said that there is too much information, most of it useless, coming our way. Television, radio, internet, smart phones, Ipad, Nook, Facebook, email (that hits close to home), and now even the street side billboards are electronic. The creators of this data dump are providing answers to questions that we never asked. As an example, my internet homepage this morning is attempting to share the following fascinating tidbits that I simply cannot live without:
Lady Gaga has an eating disorder.
The many loves of Jessica Simpson.
Ladies who are romantically tied to athletes.
Vacation nightmares: What are the odds?
Veggies that will give you a flat stomach.
I don’t wish to insult anyone’s taste in reading, but had I read any of those stories my brain cells would have gone on strike. The business page wasn’t much better.
When I worked in direct sales, we used to call that tactic, ‘product dump.’ Throw out all the information you have as fast as possible and see what sticks. Over time I learned that is wasn’t the quantity of questions that mattered, it was the quality of the questions that closed the deal. Of all the questions that can be asked, only a very few are needed, the rest are just filler- taking up space between the few key topics.
My concern is not only the volume of information that consumes our day, (and our kids too, which is a much bigger concern) but the low quality of the questions that the data seems to answer. Most of us are good at filtering out the ‘background noise data’ from the information that is meaningful, but it is getting more difficult each day. It’s time that we prioritize the questions that are asked, which means we need to prioritize the data that we accept. At a minimum, we need to insure that the questions that matter, the questions that have answers that will shape our existence, get asked, and answered, first.
Do my children, and grandchildren, know beyond a shadow of doubt that I love them with all my heart? Do they know that my love for them is unshakable, unstoppable, and completely unconditional? Have I told them and shown them?
Does my wife (husband) know that they are as much a part of me as my own heart, or lungs, or brain? Do they know that who I am does not exist without them at my side?
Am I sure that everyone in my family is going to heaven? No guessing – absolutely, positively sure.
Let’s try to plan our day to answer the big questions first, and then we can deal with all the other stuff.
Thanks for reading.