Vajra Blue

Mindfulness and Compassion. Understanding trauma in young people.


Mindfulness: dealing with attention deficit trait..

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People today are in danger of drowning in information; but, because they have been taught that information is useful, they are more willing to drown than they need be.

If they could handle information, they would not have to drown at all.”
― Idries Shah, Reflections

Information is one thing that is plentiful in the twenty first century. It is said that one week of the New York Times contains more information than the average person, alive just fifty years ago, would have been exposed to in their entire lives. As well as the ever increasing availablity of information, the volume of data available seems to be expanding exponentially, and most of this is unfiltered. This knowledge revolution, while having many benefits, does come with a significant price.

Attention Deficit Trait (ADT) is a term that describes the effects of a persistent state of information overload that can be generated by the digital world. It was first used by psychiatrist, Edward Hallowell, in an article in the Harvard Business Review. He described a state “Marked by distractability, inner frenzy, and impatience…” occuring in business managers that turned “otherwise talented performers into harried underachievers.”

This condition although similar to ADHD, is caused by the environment in which we live and work. In other words it is something that we are doing to ourselves.

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Lemmings, the Internet and pornography.

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Nature usually finds a way to balance populations. When there is plenty of food populations grow. An increased population means that there are more mouths to feed. This results in a reduction in the available food supply which in turn brings about a fall in the population.

Lemmings are renowned for being suicidal and jumping off cliffs. However this is not what is really happening. When lemming population density reaches a certain point, the population is triggered to migrate, and sets off in search of pastures new. No matter what is in the way they travel until they have found somewhere where food is plentiful. So, if they come to a cliff, they will swarm straight over it and head out to sea, to find new land or drown.

This headlong rush results in either finding a fresh supply of food to support the larger population, or a significant reduction in population so that the available food resources can support it. The cycle repeats itself over the years. This headlong rush to their doom is innate to the lemmings’ mind. A similar foolhardy rush to try new things seems to be inherent to humans, like lemming we seem oblivious to the inherent dangers in what we do.

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