Space the final frontier
The famous line from the opening scenes of StarTrek talked of the starship Enterprise going boldly into space to discover new worlds . . . . . . but this is not a commission that need to wait for warp drive. We have space all around us and it is still an undiscovered place for many of us. Going there can be frightening, as could be the new worlds but that is also such an exciting possibility that I find it strange that more of us are not launching ourselves in a voyage of discovery.
The shape of space
So what does space look like? How do you interact with it? Well, space is the place between the sounds of instruments in your favourite piece of music; space is what the black lines on a drawing encompass; space is the distance between lovers and the what makes the letters on this document words, sentences and paragraphs. Space gives sense to the mass of sensory input that we get every day. Space can also be the taste of a dry mouth before a drink in the desert, the longing for meaning to life and the loneliness of being in a crowded party with no-one to talk to so why do I believe that space is such an important part of our lives and possibly more importantly why do we at best ignore it and at worst fight to ensure that we never experience it?
Busy-ness seems to be the golden fleece at the end of life rainbow. We pity those with space; the homeless, the old, the bored and the in-active believing that they are missing out. What is it that we believe they are missing out on? As stated above it is space that so often defines and gives meaning the activities that make up our lives. If you do not have space do you get a chance to remember the good times? Relax? Recover? Or possibly most importantly ensure that you have considered the actives you are engaged enough to be certain that they are more than just filling up the space that we all seem so afraid of?
A constant drive for efficiency has driven out space from most of our businesses. We pay consultants and experts to come in and remove space from all our processes and activities. This may well appear to reduce cost but what value do our businesses place on space? Where do we factor in the space for dealing with the un-planned, being creative, coming up with that next brilliant idea that will make our business great?
There is a principle in many of the world religions of a holy day (Sabbath). This time was space in the business of the world to consider life beyond. Some societies have tried to alter this “natural” rhythm and found that efficiency decreases. If one day in 7 can be given to space and maximum productivity attained is it not worth planning this 14% of our activity over to space; to defining and making sense of our activity.
Space – what now?
If you set aside 20 mins to read this and it only took 15, don’t think great I have 5 minutes to go and do . . . . take the space offered and enjoy it. Let the space define the activity of reading, let the space make sense of what you have read and maybe let the space remind you of the good things that have happened in the recent past, who you haven’t rung in ages and why you read this in the first place. Let space not only define and make sense of the recent past but also let it define and make sense of the near future – then let there be more space. Maybe space really is the final frontier.