Our fast-paced world of multitasking and “crammin’ it all in” keeps us so busy. Adding fuel to the fire, we’re in this state of constant stimulation as we work to fill every minute! We don’t need to think much about anything. Unlike with old ways, we now don’t need to know how to get to a new place or calculate a conversion. We don’t ponder how something is done because the answer is quickly found in our pockets.
Tradition is an inherited pattern of thought passed between connected humans. My grandmother taught me to mend by hand, fold perfectly, and iron all types of cloth. My mom taught me how to make Croatian food, which she learned from her mom. I have hand-written recipes I can’t bare to digitize and discard. They feel like a part of the person who wrote them – truly a treasure! I wonder if traditions will be carried forward or lost in the technologically advanced societies seemingly addicted to “always new”.
As a teen I spent hours talking to my friends on the phone. We’d laugh, and share secrets and dreams. My teen daughter does a form of this through texting with friend groups but they are careful about what they put out there as it can easily go public. In contrast, we felt safe to be our silliest, most honest selves. The human voice tells so much about the heart behind it. This get’s missed with texting. Emoji’s don’t quite have the same effect.
I make clothing using old-school fabrics. (You can see them here.) Linen, for one, has been in use by humans for:
10,000 years. Cotton for 6,000 years. Silk for 7,000 years. And wool for 12,000 years!
That’s a long, proven history of clothing with natural fiber fabrics, especially when compared with newer fabrics like polyester which has only been around for about 90 years. As the predominantly used fabric on Earth, we are filling our planet with Polyester which takes takes about 500 years to decompose! Just think about the appalling practice of overproducing clothing that nobody wants, needs, or uses by fast fashion giants.
We are learning more about the downsides of Polyester and other new fabrics now that they have been around for some time. Topics for exploration are around them include whether they cause cancer, the amount of pollution their production emits, and how they shed microplastics which end up in our bloodstream.
Technology solves problems but also brings new issues to the forefront. With the busy lives we’ve created we aren’t taking time to think and, rather, we are all too quick to accept the easy fix. We are forgetting to keep our eye on the balance of all things. We used to use our intuition and looked at the BIG picture but this feels like its slipping away.
Old ways of doing things take more time. But that can be a plus. You may not get as many things done in a day, but you’ll get to be reflective. You may get the mental space to think, exercise patience, and learn about yourself. There is so much value in that!
I challenge you to choose a slower, old-school, or more time consuming way to do something this week. Let me know in the comments what it is and/or how it goes!
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