Lately I’ve been finding solace in streaming reruns of The West Wing. I remember watching it sporadically while it was originally airing. I can’t now remember how many times since that I’ve watched the entire series. I’m sure there are those who have watched it more, though recently when my dad—another aficionado—asked me if I recalled the episode in which Bartlet called the Butterball hotline for advice about cooking the stuffing with the turkey, I could say, yes, I did. So I feel good about my credibility as a fan. As a cultural touchpoint, its message and content stand up well.
If you set out to create a platform that would resonate over time, how successful do you think you would be? When the show first aired in 1999, we were pre-9/11. In an episode I watched recently, Josh Lyman, the deputy chief of staff, meets another character inside the bounds of airport security. A currently unrelatable experience. An anachronistic throwback to a time we perceived to be less complicated.
Tis the season for proclamations of gratitude. T’wouldn’t it be even better if we were equally in touch with our thankful sides more frequently during the year? That said, better once than never. And I’m as guilty as anyone.
Yesterday I attended a yin yoga workshop at my preferred local studio and the theme was (not shockingly) gratitude. I arrived at the studio feeling stressed and more than a little on edge. Why? Well, it’s been a consistently on-the-go stretch of weeks. I’ve been easily frazzled by shifting schedules, delays, canceled appointments, last-minute requests of my time, and a range of who knows what else.
As class was getting started, small cards emblazoned with the word ‘gratitude’ were handed out along with pens, and we were entreated to take a moment to write a few thoughts on what we were, in that moment, thankful for. I somewhat abashedly admit, at first I was feeling a little challenged by what to write. My mind was spinning and I was anything but present, feeling o...
You get it. We’re all busy, on the go, rushing from thing to thing during the day only to crash at night, hope for a semi-balanced meal, and maybe an hour to decompress before sleep and do it all over. And, day to night, we’ve all become reliant on our devices for easy-access, immediate communication. It’s easy to send off a quick text or email in between meetings, waiting for an appointment to start, waiting to pick up the kids from school or a game, or whenever five minutes present.
The consequences of this lifestyle are difficult to avoid, and afflict us all. For one, the over-saturation of information. The messages fly fast and furious. We’ve all had the experience of leaving a meeting and seeing a huge backlog of notifications. And the related expectation that we’ll all respond right away. There’s less and less that qualifies as an excuse worthy of non-responsiveness. Ironically, social media memes tell us to find more experiences that enable us to not look at our phones. Our visio...