Combating the Societal Disease of Our Time

Norman Lear is credited with saying "Short-term thinking is the societal disease of our time." The corporate world has been sick with this disease for a long time and it is clear the disease has spread to other bodies in life: politics, entertainment and even the church. Perhaps you have seen the ramifications of being sick with this disease? We are feverishly addicted to the quarterly reports. We check the and and down of the sock market daily. We look to medication that can claims to change our lives thirty days. Content longer than three minutes is too long

We break up writing so to order lower the pressure of committing to read an entire paragraph. 

Photo by  William Iven  on  Unsplash

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Organizations infected with short-termism infect the members of that organization. Short-termism then spreads and the epidemic is upon us. We know the cure to break the fever, but ain't nobody have time for that.

Rather than prescribing new practices such as breathing or meditation, rather I offer up something that was recently taught to me. I cannot recall where it came from nor the more articulate way it is described, but it is the idea that we are only 10 people away from Jesus. 

The idea is that your life is really about 200 years rather than just the 70ish we think of. How do you get to impact 200 years?  Simply add three numbers.

  • The age of oldest person who knew you were born +
  • The number of years you live +
  • The death age of the youngest person who knew you when you die

This simple equation of impact means that the life impact of Jesus is not 2000 years away but only ten people away.

Short termism can be addressed by shifting how we think about the world. The monthly, quarterly or even annual reports are too short term. The Spirit of God has a different scale. Our little short term reports would be laughable if they were not so damaging to our bodies.