This is not another article railing against technology. I love technology and actually have two online companies that are invested in technology. My iPhone and iPad are some of my best friends. These are wonderful but there is a looming crisis we need to “tend” to concerning the eradication of our tending practices. Unfortunately today’s technological society is based on vending not tending your life.
We are living in a transactional world these days. You want a question answered, need to purchase a product or see the news, you immediately head online and satisfy your needs in a transactional manner. You type in your needs on your keyboard or tell Alexa what you want and it immediately. This is similar behavior to our old fashion vending machines. If I want a drink, candy bar or movie it requires me to insert money and I receive the commodity.
We have shifted to a transactional life from a relational life. We have moved from a tending to a vending life. This is compromising our mental and physical health and well-being. Technology is challenging our essential human need for meaning, experience, and happiness in our minds, bodies, and souls.
What is Tending?
The origin of the word tend or tending is from Latin tendere, meaning to stretch, extend or proceed. Tending means to look after, watch over, care for or to attend by action.
You tend your garden. You may be tending to your animals. When you cook or bake you are in the process of tending to the food. If you have a home or apartment you are tending your home. Our family is in the healthcare profession so we tend to our patients. A good parent tends to their children daily. A spiritual director, monk, or teacher tends to your mind and soul.
Throughout human history, the tending has been a sacred process in all its varied forms. Tending is a holy relationship that makes you whole. Tending is expending energy to something else, the unfolding of your SELF into the other, serving something or someone with reverent respect.
We Are Committing Selficide
The practice of tending is essential for the health of your mind, body, and soul. Homicide is killing someone else. Suicide is killing your body. Selficide® is slowly killing your SELF, your soul or your psyche. Most of us don’t deliberately set out to commit Selficide®. It is an insidious, slow erosion of meaning, experience, and happiness in our lives.
I experienced the sacred art of tending throughout my life. We grew up tending gardens, our animals, our homes, the food in our kitchens, our friends, our families and our spiritual lives. My teachers were tending me throughout my educational life. I experienced their tenderness, focus, and guidance on a daily basis. Today, I am concerned that our schools have turned into transactional buildings whose goals are outcomes instead of institutions dedicated to the tending of our children to nourish their minds, bodies, and souls. When you are practicing the tending of anything you are living in a state of grace.
Mindful Living is Tending to Your Life
We lived on our farm for over 30 years. I experienced a challenging, rewarding, mindful life of tending. I tended to horses, dogs, cats, the pastures, fences, landscaping, the lake, buildings, patients, clients, our family, and friends. It was a slower, meaningful, life of grace and enlightenment.
No one needs to move to a farm to learn tending. Tending is a state of mindfulness where you are immersed in caring for something other than yourself. The interesting result of tending to “the other” is that you are actually in some magical way tending to your SELF, your mind, and your soul. Tending is an attitude, a state of mind, a spiritual practice that will transform your life. Tending is an awareness practice that plants seeds deep in your soul with incredible benefits to your mind, body, and soul
I invite you to stop so much vending and begin intentionally tending to something today. Your awareness will increase, your heart will sing and your soul will be full because you are living in the presence of the Presence.