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  • Natalie Garcia
    Natalie Garcia

    Is Our World Obsessed with Increased Novelty and Accelerated Change?

    Looking around in the fast-paced world of modern living, it often strikes one as if everything is trying to out do the other in finding a quicker route. From the tools available that enable the internet to be accessed from the comfort of your home, to sleek new cars racing about on the highways, bridging the gap between time and location, we have really seen premier attempts at saturation of this "direct route" ideology in our lives. Alvin Toffler's prediction seems to have come true and yet, even after all this intrusion of modern technology and convenience, are we still being drawn towards ever increasing novelty, propelled by thoughts of accelerated change and growth?

    Reflecting upon this modern diktat, do we sense that something is amiss? That even after all this technological intervention, our lives are still looking for something else, a need to outdo even those deadlines we set for ourselves in the grand inquisition of the rat race? As we keep putting ourselves in these uncomfortable situations, the novelty and experimentation keeps fuelling our deeper desires of accelerated change. But why is this? What is driving us to deliberately risk taking shortcuts to more contemporary lifestyles?

    One answer might lie in our innate craving for excitement and comfort. After every small victory, a larger sense of success is felt and thus keeps piling up on our enthusiasm to explore further uncharted territories. We have become addicted to this sheer thrill of experiencing something novel. Many among us are so caught up in this addicting cycle of novelty and speed that the idea of sitting still without much happening seems entirely deterrent to the senses. We yearn for those extra boundaries, because they allow us to test our physical, mental, and spiritual capacity by providing a keen sense of exploration. As a result, we feel compelled to keep running the marathon, almost like moving pieces of a puzzle, untouched by exhaustion or fatigue.

    Chasing the windmills of life, as some might call it has long since been established as a rewardable trait, though it may be flawed, it nevertheless serves its purpose in weeding out the ones that don't take the plunge. by providing a flow of development and progress, we attain satisfaction and pride, juggling with concepts of accomplishment and failure, giving us incentive to march forth in our pursuits.

    It quite naturally follows then, that as our mind is a receptor for constant stimulus, we are pushed towards an objective of achieving faster change, until such point that a limit is attained. Oftentimes, in the wake of rapid changes, we realise that too much acceleration can bring about a deadlock, leaving us stranded without a sense of direction. Overstimulation and an insatiable appetite for more only increase the risk factor and often cut down the chances of finding absolute joy and contentment. It is only when one takes time out to rejuvenate, reflect and analyse can one hope to brace the waves of misfortune and uncertainty with surer footing.

    Looking back it becomes apparent that every part of modern living is indeed looking for a shortcut, but ultimately it is up to us to decide whether this often mindless pursuit is to our greater good or detriment. Steadfastly choosing to appreciate the complexity of our reality, and embracing novelty without becoming a slave to its addictive pace, can pave way for a sustainable future, laying sheer emphasis on the importance and value of hard- earned experiences and insights.

    So in conclusion, our environment and society may have been overstimulated by the precipitants of accelerated change and increased novelty, however, this should not hinder us from leading meaningful and holistic lives. Empowerment comes from recognising that diversity and cultural integrity can only be achieved by stemming out the innermost currents of desire, such that our lives become rich vessels of knowledge and wisdom, meandering between desire and contentment.

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