“You know, when we were young, our only way of communicating with each other was if we were both home and both had a landline. Otherwise we were sort of lost in our own worlds”.
The young girl looked up from her mobile phone.
She was astounded by the truth of her grandfather’s words. She lived in an age where you could communicate with anyone anywhere in a matter of seconds. She didn’t know what it was like to not have a phone in hand and for her it was unthinkable to not be able to find out at any given time where anyone was and what they were doing. Mostly because her generation voluntary gave out that information online.
“So what happened if you wanted to find out about someone but didn’t want them to know?” she asked coyly.
“Well, you would have to ask someone who knew them too”.
“But what if you didn’t want anyone to know?”
“Like stalking?” her grandfather put it frankly.
“Well, sort of…” she blushed.
“There was no such thing in my time. If you’re relationship broke with someone, you tried to fix it. And if that didn’t work then you just got out of touch with them. And that was the end of it”.
The girl said nothing. She looked at her grandfather trying to imagine what that was like. Her generation was used to stalking each other on social media and getting obsessed with each other’s posts, overanalyzing, overthinking and overstressing. Everything in exaggeration. What was it like to not have to think about all this? To simply not care? To be calm?
Her grandfather was almost 100. He would still go out for long walks and had the patience of a mule.
She was agitated by even a fly’s buzz.
One time she had asked him if he never worries about anything. His reply was: “would it help?”
“To be calm is the highest achievement of the self” – Zen proverb