plugging in

My Sunday evening ritual includes ironing shirts for the week. The way our living room works, this is usually done with stereo headphones. Last night I chose to listen to some music that had been a significant soundtrack to my life through the late eighties and early nineties.

John Mellencamp sings about the soul American life; personal searching, family struggles, injustice and the need for justice love and happiness. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised at how the lyrics and beat reconnected me with some deep convictions and elevated my sense of purpose leading into another working week.

There are a few ‘disciplines’ that predictably move me to a higher level. If you are like me, it is too easy for these disciplines to get squeezed out in the busyness of life. But to go through even one week without being plugged in to the things that really matter to me is a waste of a week.

Over dinner with some friends recently we were talking about how in the West we unquestionably accept that longevity is a good thing. Health, sustainability etc are typically about prolonging life rather than enhancing it. Now undoubtedly there is a complex relationship between prolonging and enhancing, but the point is that we probably need to redress the emphasis on longevity to make sure we make the most of what we already have; today.

For me, this means plugging into the things that matter most, so that whatever I do is framed by those motivations. Even though the routines of business are the staple weekly activity, routines only become a meaningless treadmill when divorced from higher purposes. So, I hope you get a chance to ‘plug in’ this week.