Our culture places a high value on people's expertise and abilities. We treasure having the right person with the right skill set and personality for a given responsibility. In fact, a whole industry is devoted to researching and finding the perfect candidate for a job. High-performance companies and institutions typically hire trusted firms to run job searches.
In our culture, it's fairly common to move from one job or career to the next. The average person is accustomed to reinventing himself or herself to accommodate the demands of an ever-changing world. We know the importance of updating and upgrading our work skills and status. We network and share gifts and talents, especially with those who might ease our transition from one work environment to the next.
In our busy and frantic culture, it's easy to be distracted and lose focus. We live surrounded by external and internal distractions competing for our limited attention. Whether due to the constant noise of people talking, phone ringing, TV chatter or the inner disruptions caused by stress, worries and mental obsessions, it's hard to stay centered and single-minded. And for many, access to social media has only made things worse — we now jump from one thing to the next with ease and speed.
It isn't difficult to look at the world today and be left with profound feelings of uncertainty, uneasiness and concern. Our global perspective provides many instances of real human tragedy and suffering. For example, we might point to the migration crisis or the persecution of Christians taking place in many parts the world and quickly realize the challenges we face.
Living in the 21st century, it's easy to look back at history and note the advances, disappointments, struggles and difficulties produced by each historical age. We know the significance the printing press had for popular learning and the development of language in written form. We also point to the industrial revolution as bringing about considerable social mobility, transforming family life from an agrarian society to an urban culture. And in our own age, we benefit from the greatest technological progress ever known to people.
This year, the summer brings with it a highly publicized election season. Many of us have been attentive to various media wanting to know the latest polls, voting results, talk-show analysis, political spins and creative speculations. Even political neophytes can't escape the barrage of images, words and symbols that bespeak of the urgency and angst surrounding this year's presidential election.