With the world at our fingertips in the Age of Distraction, I think it is easy for us to see things through a distorted lens. A few swipes and finger strokes, the world is at our fingertips no matter what hour of the day. Go through a tunnel or find yourself out of range, and it is easy to feel extremely isolated away from everyone — while being surrounded by everyone. Our constant need to connect with one another means we aren’t connecting with our immediate surroundings . . . or ourselves.
Our lens can also project issues to a grand scale where a few words on a LED screen can make our worlds come tumbling down. We can also use this lens to make ourselves bigger and treat others like they are insignificant (read any comments section for proof of this).
As I sat on a bus, watching the folks around me text, swipe news feeds and post about their morning breakfast sandwich, I realized it was like the “Eat Me/Drink Me” theme prevalent in the Adventures of Alice in Wonderland.
I’ve always been enraptured by the fantastical world created by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. The late 1800s novel features such vivid characters, a well-developed world and grips readers with complete anticipation as to what will happen next.
In Chapter One, Alice follows a white rabbit with a pocket watch down a rabbit hole. She ends up in a curious hall with locked doors of various sizes. “She finds a small key to a door too small for her to fit through and a bottle on a table labelled “DRINK ME,” the contents of which cause her to shrink too small to reach the key which she has left on the table. As the chapter comes to an end, “she eats a cake with “EAT ME” written on it in currants.”
Alice waxes a bit of philosophy as she ponders what final size she may end up as, including “going out altogether, like a candle.”
Like Alice, our relation to the world is constantly shifting. We are constantly repositioned in this world, along the chain, based upon our connection (with ourselves versus communicating with the world) and our attitude regarding any given situation. “Eat or be eaten” mentality that envelopes both worlds.
We may feel we have to stay in constant contact with work or third cousins once removed. We may feel like the world is out to get us and that we are the victim in our own trip through the rabbit hole. We may feel like we have no control or are stuck in the current path we are on.
Despite the “demanding” language used on the beverage label or what was written in currants on the cake, Alice always has a choice in her situation – much like us. We have the power of choice and we always make one. Your world is as small or large as you make it. You have the power to “drink me” and unplug from technology, bring your world a bit closer.
The most important choice we can make is our attitude as we each take a path along our journey. How we choose to see the situation. Is it one of hopelessness, where the universe (or Queen of Hearts) is out to get us? Or one where the sun will come out and we just need to enjoy the tea party for what it is?
How you perceive the situation (short-term or never ending) will have a big impact on whether you bounce back out of the rabbit hole.
There is always a choice.