It’s easier to let someone else do your thinking for you. We get lazy and say, “Don’t bother me with the details, just give me the bottom line”, and our age of fast information in the palm of our hand shortens our already limited attention span.
Ironically, we long for depth in our lives but content ourselves in shallow water. Our entertainment is banal and our conversations increasingly require a smaller and smaller vocabulary. We each have the same twenty-four hours available in every day, but many of them are lived half heartedly – nothing special.
Same old, same old.
In The American Scholar, Emerson calls us out of the fog, and describes what he calls “Man Thinking”. America was only sixty years old when he spoke those words in 1837, and we were still wrapped up in a parochial European mindset. He challenged his hearers to wake up and live their lives with depth and purpose.
That message has never been more relevant.