I'm sitting alone in a hallway outside the ballroom of a great resort where I'll be speaking in a few minutes. The session before mine is running long. So, I wait. Most people would be on their iPhones now. I'm just relaxing. And in my relaxed state, I get an idea - which happens pretty often. So, I reach into my speaking bag, where I carry laminated wallet cards, Snickers Bars, an extra pair of glasses, some hand sanitizer, and other assorted necessities for being in front of a lot of people, and pull out that rare tool of bloggers - a Bic pen.
I usually leave my iPhone back in the hotel room. Whenever I can, I choose to be untethered to it all. It's not like I'll ever have mere seconds for the launching of a philosophical missive. My communication connection to the world isn't ordinarily a thing of great urgency. Plus, being unplugged allows for more contemplation. And inner peace. I'm not listening for the next notification ding and poised to reply that instant. I'm at ease. And my blogging tool in this instance isn't distracting me constantly with other options for its use and my attention. Of course, life can't be all ink and paper, all the time, or you wouldn't be reading this. But it still can be, sometimes. And those times are special.
My use of a pen isn't about smart phone avoidance. It's about moderation. And in our connected world, moderation is something we're forgetting, to our detriment. At the holiest spot in ancient Greece, the Oracle at Delphi, two vital pieces of advice were inscribed in marble:
Nothing in Excess.
These are great reminders of two basic necessities for a happy and flourishing life. And our frantic pace make both difficult for us to live out, day-to-day. My ballpoint pen helps me slow it all down, get back in touch with some deeper thoughts, and clear my mind for what's ahead.
Ah. There's the applause. The session's ending. I'm up next.
Now it's time to go have a little fun dishing out some of the great wisdom from the great thinkers. But, of course, in moderation.
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