Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Refresh, Delete, Undo, Save

Today is Tuesday, July 16, 2013. 

These four verbs: refresh, delete, undo and save, have all taken on specific meanings related to the use of computers.  Since I spend so much of my time online these days, they have become important functions in my life. 

The word refresh, as it is used with computers, means to update or renew an image or a computer screen (or the contents of the computer memory) by sending an electronic signal.  There is a little"refresh" button that looks like  an arrow circling to the right at the top of my Internet browser window.  Some pages that I visit are programmed to refresh automatically, while others are not, and if you have visited them before, you may have a picture of that page stored in your cache that is out of date. If you are looking for some new content on a particular page, but don't see it, click on the refresh icon first.  

In life, everything is in a constant state of flux and change.  New information is generated constantly.  It's so important for us all to take time to refresh our ideas, attitudes, and world views.  Some things, such as fashion trends, get refreshed so often and so minutely each time that we don't even register the changes much from season to season.  It's only when we look at clothes from decades back that we notice how dated the styles look, and we notice differences in hemlines, collars, waists, length, etc.  

Our view of the world and what is possible changes daily, too.  We get tired more easily.  Our range of motion is limited.  Activities that our bodies used to do easily, effortlessly, and gracefully are harder now, or even impossible. 

We react to situations differently now than we would have ten or twenty years ago.  Some things that once shocked us seem familiar now.  What used to anger us doesn't seem as upsetting anymore.  Things we never noticed before now bother us a great deal. Our sense of right and wrong has altered, our sense of what is acceptable and unacceptable, our values have shifted, even our notions about God and the meaning of life have changed over the years.  

As a nation, Americans are once again updating their ideas of what is OK and not OK in terms of the way people of different races act toward one another, and the way members of the various races are treated under the law.  The Paula Deen affair and George Zimmerman's murder of Trayvon Martin, among other things, serve as catalysts for change, however painful it may be.

Like some pages on the Internet, we don't always refresh automatically; it takes a major change to force us to "hit the refresh button" consciously.  Adaptability is a key quality that allows us to refresh gracefully and relatively painlessly.  The quality of detachment allows us to let go of our old ideas and habits in order to make room for something new.

*** *** *** *** ***
They say that the eraser is one of the greatest inventions of humankind. If so, the delete key is the second greatest.  When I think about all the holes I rubbed into paper with my eraser over the years, I have to laugh.  The delete key is so much easier.  Of course, we mustn't throw out the baby with the bath water.  That would be going overboard.

It would certainly be tempting to be able to delete all our mistakes, especially if we could do it with one keystroke.  The problem is, of course, that we need to learn from our mistakes.  That's why we make them.  It's one thing to delete something we have written on a computer, or even with an old-fashioned eraser.  It's quite another to delete a mistake we have made in life.  

Since we can't generally go back and rewrite history, we will have to delete something else.  Let us delete our feelings of unworthiness and guilt, our feelings of shame.  Let us delete the negative self-talk that follows every mistake and pratfall in our lives.   Let us delete feelings of anger, bitterness, and resentment toward others for things they have done, and toward life itself for having given us situations we could not control 

We can't really delete all our problems, but we can delete our negative, self-defeating thoughts.  We can delete the limits that we have imposed upon ourselves.   A positive attitude is the best way to delete the negative things in our lives.

 *** *** *** *** ***
Fortunately, there are some things that we can undo.  With computers, I have learned that it's always best to undo something as soon as you can, because there is a point beyond which the "undo" function will not work.  It works that way in life, as well.  

We can't always undo our mistakes, but we can start over and redo things that need to be done better.  We can ask for forgiveness and make restitution, whenever possible.  

We can turn over a new leaf and resolve to do better next time.  A humble heart and a sincere attitude will work wonders in this effort. 

 *** *** *** *** ***
How many times have we all lost a file on the computer because we forgot to save it?  Our precious memories of the happy moments in life are like files that we must save.  Any computer user knows that files don't save themselves. You have to make a conscious effort to save them. 

We must save the happy moments in our memories, because we never know when we will be parted from those we love, and we can't see the dark valley that we may have to walk through in the future.  Pictures are great, but it's even better if we take the time to reflect at the end of each day, perhaps to do some journaling.  A "gratitude notebook" that we can update each evening or each morning can become a wonderful source of memories, something to hang onto when life turns a little sour.   An attitude of gratitude is the way to save the good things in life for later recall.   :-)

No comments: