If we are to climb the mountain we should be aware of technology, developing the necessary skills – when appropriate – to utilize it in order expedite and make our journey more comfortable. To ignore technology is not wise, to depend on it, however, is foolish. If we ignore it we may miss something that could be helpful. If we depend on it, we believe that the source of our power, our abilities, lies without, not within. No amount of technology and skill can get us up the mountain if our own willingness, intelligence, and wisdom are lacking. If we don’t want to climb that mountain, don’t have faith in our abilities, it won’t happen.
Some people get involved with technology, with the products and information of technology, when it is not related to an express purpose, to a mountain they wish to climb. They may look endlessly at tents even though they already have a tent. They may buy another tent because they enjoy having a collection of tents. They are spending their time and resources in ways that do not support their journey up the mountain. They are gaining satisfaction from possessions rather than the journey. Perhaps focusing on technology and its products may be a way of avoiding the journey.
Part of attaining wisdom is deciding how much is too much. When we acquire and bring along too many gizmos and gadgets when we climb mountains, we may not be able to support the extra weight and stress caused by these products of technology. We will tire easily and become strained; our available energies become focused on maintaining and supporting this unnecessary weight rather than the challenges and demands of our journey. Our progress becomes measurably slowed and our ability to scale the mountain is jeopardized.
Some people may look to technology and skills as the means to achieve their happiness. Our institutions may support this, as some are “workplace” oriented rather than “lifeplace” oriented. Our educational institutions may support and perpetuate the myth that our happiness and fulfillment depend on our careers and skills – technology and related information – rather than our relationships, meaning, and who we are and become.
If skills are the technology themselves, we should be careful about what we may be getting ourselves into. We need to make sure these skills are in line with who we are and desire to be. We need to make sure that these skills don’t distract our energies, redirecting us from our meaning, our desire to be authentic and loving.
For example, we take a job in sales with a mid-sized company. They send us away to a sales skill seminar for our training and development; they are going to teach us how to make a million dollars a year. As we learn these skills at the seminar, we need to ask ourselves if they support our movement towards authenticity and being loving. Are they asking us to be dishonest in any way? Do they give us the opportunity for our input, for our beliefs? Is their treatment of the employee and customer one that is truly respectful and for their respective benefit? Are they honestly representing the potential opportunity? If the job doesn’t support who we are and want to become, do we believe we could make a million dollars a year?
Perhaps if we are attempting to realize our “gift” – the realization of our passion through the connection of our talents and what is important to us – we can better decide if this job and the associated skills enable us. If it doesn’t resonate with who we are and wish to be, perhaps we should continue to look elsewhere, knowing we create and find what we desire by searching, through perseverance.
As another example, perhaps we are exploring some modern “human potential” technologies or therapies to heal a fear, an addiction, compulsion, or relationship in our lives. These technologies are in fact skills that have – in most cases – been developed and designed in recent years. Being new, they may be faddish, relatively untested and evaluated. Again, before we leap in head first, we need to learn about the skills used and decide if they resonate with what we believe and know, who we are and desire to become.
For example, someone I know has trouble acknowledging and expressing her feelings. A new type of therapy was recommended to her that was confrontational and hostile. The idea being, they would push and push, force her up against a wall if necessary, where she would have no place to go but be forced to deal with and express her feelings. However after a couple of hurtful and painful sessions, she felt that this method was in conflict with her beliefs about how humans should interact, and how she should be treated. She decided they could experiment on someone else; it was not for her.
Whether she was “right” globally is not the issue; perhaps this type of therapy will work for someone else. She made the decision that was right for her at that time; it is the truth as she knows it and that’s all that matters. She will continue her search and find what resonates and works for her.
When we are independent, follow our heart and our convictions, we can decide correctly what technologies and skills will empower us. We help our children make decisions regarding the use of technology and skills by sharing – not imposing – our understanding of technology and skills with them. We encourage them by our example to focus on first attaining authenticity, being loving, and determining meaning, and then wisely using technologies and skills that resonate with and compliment who they are and desire to be in the world.