Sometimes people ask me where do I get hints or ideas for a column from. It’s actually a good question. I think I get inspired by all people I run into and everything happening around me. I have always liked to listen and talk to people, and to observe the way people live their lives. There is so much we can learn from each other, just by paying attention to how people behave (both good and bad).
But there is something more. I also find it important to take time at the end of a day to think back about my day, and spend some time pondering over situations that somehow captured my attention, and reflect on why these moments intrigued me. What did I like of today in particular? What made me happy? Or sad? And if I had the opportunity, what I would like to change of it? It can be hard sometimes to find the time to do this, and still it’s essential to mindfulness.
But in today’s world there seems to be also a threat to experiencing life - internet, and social media. Of course I don’t criticise the use of internet, only it’s abuse. I feel it’s just very easy to get lost in its sea of mediocrity while surfing and I wonder if the amount of time that we spend in our days surfing the internet could be preventing us from actually living our lives, making real experiences.
Sometimes I go for a coffee break, and while I’m sitting there sipping my coffee, I take a look around and out of twenty maybe thirty people in the room, I’m the only one who is not busy watching a laptop or a smartphone, and silence all around. Sometimes we may be two (we must be a dying breed). I may get old, but it just does not sound completely right to me. I think it’s important to make time to slow down and relax, to listen and observe, and to absorb all emotions and feeling that otherwise would disappear “like tears in rain” (thanks Blade Runner).
Pietro Bonizzi, Assistant Professor at Data Science and Knowledge Engineering