When was the last time you had a moment’s pause?

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These days, in our relentness quest for progress, in the hungry gobble of instant gratification, in our rush to conserve precious time, we tend to prioritse what's efficient over what's important.

When we have a cup of tea, it's often bought from a machine and consumed on the go. When we clamber onto a bus, seldom do we speak to the driver, even to say "thank you". We tap plastic to buzzer and move on. When we buy shopping, we buy it from a machine. Headphones make music more a solitary experience than a communal one. "Chatting" with friends has come to mean staring at a screen.

In fact, so much of the progress of technology and speed has conversely eliminated so much of what makes us human: that instinct for play, humour, personality, connection and fun, even silliness and flirtation. Our obsession with skills, qualification and quantification of what we think is important has too often led us to forget what's vital.

In the end, that's counter-productive, and counter-intuitive. Saving time is no good unless we do something to spend it, invest it, even suspend it - through pause, reflection and interaction with others.

Within rapidly changing communities like ours, these moments are even more crucial. That's why North London Cares exists - to bring people together, to reconnect, to celebrate what we have in common as well as our differences, and, in doing so, to help improve the life experience for all our neighbours.

So if you live a manic lifestyle in the big city, why not join your older neighbours some time - and feel part of the community?

Alex Smith

Posted by Alex Smith on Monday 18th May 2015

Alex is NLC's founder and CEO.

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