Technical debt of the soul

Either rushing ahead on whatever path seems to lie open, or painful, stubborn resistance; both of these behaviors are symptoms of a life with no self-control, no self-guidance. It’s not always our fault, at least not at first; after all, we can blame our parents, can’t we? Then there’s school, various bullying or punitive establishments. We can even blame politicians.

But at the end of it, the buck has to stop somewhere; and the place it should stop is right here.

Programmers sometimes talk about technical debt; that is, rough edges in the code or project management that make maintaining or even running the code awkward or unwieldly. An example would be copying and pasting a block of code into every module rather than figuring out how to import code properly. The copy+paste takes a few minutes at first; but when we find a bug in the code that needs fixing, we have to over all the pasted segments and fix them manually. This piles up time and needless effort very quickly.

In much the same way, we rush through life haphazardly, rushing to complete each stage as fast as possible to as not be left behind in the upwards scramble to get as high in the monkey tree as possible. Any glitches we find in ourselves, like sadness, attention deficit, etc. can be smoothed over with a prescription pill, saying to ourselves “I’ll get to that when I get promoted/tenured/retired”. Not likely before we expire.

This morning I lay in bed, and I was just about to jump up and start my morning routine when I thought to myself: “How many mornings more am I going to wake up feeling just right? Just the right amount of sleep? The right temperature? A bird chirping it’s song? Maybe I should cherish this moment a bit more”.

I do some meditation/mindfulness, on-and-off, and I wouldn’t knock religion as well (though not for myself so much) for getting some balance back from the competitive consumerism and rat-racing.

If there is one thing the current crisis has driven home for me – it is that things that I took for granted would always be there – can get taken away. In the blink of an eye.

Leave a Reply