How can we account for this generation? To what shall we compare ourselves? Have we let our guards down so easily that we cannot even tell when something is going wrong around us? Isn’t it so obvious you aren’t making any progress in life because you’re content with the status quo? We live in a day and age where we’ve allowed ourselves to become victims to one of the most lethal ‘disease’ on this planet—The Boiling Frog Syndrome. For the sake of those who are unfamiliar with this terminology, please allow me to introduce you to what I call the ‘nasty cancer’ that eats up both the young and old slowly until there’s nothing left of them to fight against it. The analogy goes like this:
If you place a frog in a pan of boiling water, it immediately leaps out of the water. But if you place it in a pan of cold water and gradually increase the temperature of the water, it will remain in there until there’s no strength left in it to hop out. Within some few moments, the frog dies.
This is the danger associated with allowing small, seemingly harmless acts to go on unquestioned: little by little, they effortlessly permit huge objectionable activities to become ‘normal’ events, which later paralyze various aspects of our lives. It’s quite interesting to know that what you or I would have called a major change (and probably objected to its implementation) rather becomes very offensive when you decide to speak against it at the very last minute. Let’s have a short exercise for the sake of clarity. Are you ready?
Hands up if you do this.
Oh boy! You’re boiling in hot water if this is your lifestyle. Your relationship will never grow if the digital world means so much more to you than spending quality time with the people you care about so much. Don’t expect your relationship to blossom out into a beautiful union if you’re constantly distracted by the merciless pings and push notifications from your cellphones, iPads or [name what you got] when you could have been capturing the present moment together with your friend/relative/loved one sitting just next to you. I’m not against technology totally; as a matter of fact, they make life very convenient and easy for us. What I’m trying to say though is gadgets can be serious barriers to communication among people too. It is said that intimacy is a very hard thing to develop which is why effective communication is key to nurturing and maintaining it. It requires a considerable amount of time, effort and energy to keep it going. Unfortunately, the social media requires a considerable amount of time, effort and energy to keep it going too! There’s a tight competition going on out there. You see, you can’t serve two masters at the same time. It’s just plain impossible. One will definitely take precedence over the other—the digital world taking the superior spot in this case. I find it interesting how we go on and on with our ‘Omg! It happened so fast’ anthem in an attempt to justify our actions as happening ‘all of a sudden’. If you’re wondering how it all started and how you got hooked up to whatever device you own, truth is it didn’t happen so fast; it was a gradual process. It all began the very day you permitted yourself to indulge in certain innocuous acts like texting during class or office hours. It was the very day you felt you weren’t hurting a fly if you carried your tablet to the dining table and shared your ‘dinner story’ on Snapchat (I do that a lot *face in palm*). It was the moment and season you felt carrying your gadgets around with you wherever you went wasn’t a big deal. If only you had looked a little bit closer and had been more cautious, you’d have realized that a major change was going on around you in an unnoticed manner. You were slowly developing an addiction to your gadgets. You had actually lifted your cage and made way for the little foxes to run around your vineyard. Now, they can’t be controlled. They’ve gone on a rampage and are on a mission to destroy your vine! You have become a ‘boiled frog’ for that matter.
Time surely won’t permit me to touch on other important things but I need you take a moment to review the other facets of your life in this context. Where have you allowed yourself to sink into a tranquil stupor? What are some of the things you have begun to perceive as the ‘new normal’? Note them down and begin to fight them head-on while you have time on your hands. Don’t give this syndrome the chance to destroy what you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Remember, it was never the boiling water that killed the frog; it was the frog’s indecisiveness to leap out while it had the strength. Your (in)ability to say ‘enough is enough’ is what will determine your fate at any given moment in any given situation. Get decisive and make your move now. If we know that Life is what we make it, then the onus lies on us to make a conscious habit of paying close attention to the minutest details of things that happen around us. Let’s make it our business to keep our eyes on the ground and observe our surroundings ALWAYS. Act fast when the cold water begins to slowly embrace the heat—Jump out while you can before it’s too late to resist death by boiling!