Some days fighter jets zoom past our tiny piece of heaven here in the UK. Other days it’s massive helicopters or Hercules aircraft. We always hear them before seeing them and sometimes we can’t even spot them. Without fail I imagine the terror people must feel when they are in a war zone where bombing occurs. It is a bit of sensory overload.
Imagine for a moment, it’s the summer of 1916-7 and you are working in your fields. It’s likely you are using horses or oxen to plough your fields. Horses are your prized possessions – critical for transport, movement, and work. While the world is at war, there is a quietness about life in the fields. And then you hear it and as the noise gets louder, you begin to feel the earth beneath you move. The rumble grows louder and a mixture of terror, confusion, and wonder race through you. The noise was deafening. Finally, you see them, big iron boxes with tracks slowly moving forward crushing anything that was in their path. Tanks on their way to the battlefield.
It must have been quite the sight, quite the sensory experience generating a raft of emotions within people. For some delight and wonder, for others terror. And for farmers, I can imagine some of them looking at their horses, then back and the tanks, and then back at their horses and scratching their heads. What an incredible paradigm shift.
Often I think the digital transformation happening in the world today must be similar to the paradigm shift that happened in the first world war. Not just in ways of killing people, but in noise, emotion, and change. And also in unknowns and most of us not knowing what the future implications are.
So if you feel a mixture of terror, confusion, and wonder, you are not alone. There is nothing wrong with you. Others feel it too. Even those who may not ‘show’ it outwardly.
Wonder is a rich state, embrace it.
Photo by Clay Banks