We are always seeking for an answer in our life. What time should I set for my tomorrow’s alarm? What should I eat for dinner? What should I do for my career? … In the society now, we have reached “the beauty of speed” as the futurists declared a century ago. But the truth behind is we are constantly thinking about the next second while we barely even have the time to give it a good answer.
Well, said by Cynthia a century later, “slow down. It’s time to take time to make our time.”
On June.7th, Thursday, the colorful Actiu/ Work Wonders display room welcomed a big group of people who came from various corners of Shanghai, who are doing all types of crazy, amazing or even life-changing things for the society we are living in. Indeed, how can we simply sit and watch the world burning in turmoil? We want to be the superman, the super hero, to create solutions for the social crisis and save the world. But trace back to Taoism, the Chinese philosophy that was originated 2000 years ago, the way of our living should be balanced and harmonious. I cannot deny this had to be one of the leading factors that brought people together here-- seeking out for a different or better path which leads to future sustainability, community give back, and healthy work-life balance for ourselves.
Andy opened the night by offering the time for people to think for themselves: “what is the quality of a good work-life balance?” The five minutes was full of self-reflection and deep thinking with ourselves or with people around. The five minutes seemed so precious.
Maybe there’s no need of work-life balance if people are satisfied; maybe the future technology will relief the work labor for more time to think and to follow the true heart…
Andy then shared with us the economics of happiness from his book. “One grain of rice. If there’s 100 grains of rice on each stalk, imagine there are 10 stalks. Can anyone do the calculation?” He paused, “that’s 1000 grains. From one to 1000-- isn’t that better than putting money in the bank?”
The individuals in his book are not living in a utopian world in the countryside. Their life is, like ours, surrounded by kids, family, work, calculation of the money they earn per year, and what can be put on the dinner table. Nevertheless, some of the guarantees in their life are they are “producing less and consuming less”, which helped solve the world overconsumption and waste problem; they can offer food to neighbors to help out the community needs; they have plenty of time to create art and follow their true passion.
Would the simplicity of their life, counterculture thinking, and values survive in our living environment? With the rising environmental crisis and human crisis, is their way of living an escape from the reality or a solution to help eliminate the problems? These are our questions and modern struggles. There is debate between our obligation and true passion. There is also the argument that whether decision making should be based on personal emotion or social responsibility.
Before we throw out the next question to worry or overstress about our future, let’s take a deep breathe and make some time for our hands to create, our head to think and our heart to feel. Andy after all is not the God who gives us a direct answer. He is maybe just a kind reminder to the slowly spinning world outside of Shanghai. He is a bold dreamer and also an action maker who sprinkles us some imagination for our possible future. He is the messenger of the lost humanity in an overheated world. And do keep this in mind, “Our brain is small. The world is huge. Why not talk to the person next to you and help each other out?”