The title of this Pink Floyd song presents an interesting question. Are we comfortably numb? What does that really mean?
Let’s take these two words at face value. Comfortable means physically or mentally content. Numb, means lacking feeling or emotion; indifferent. Are we really physically or mentally content with a lack of feeling or emotion – with indifference? To a certain extent, I believe we are.
Some people may find this suggestion a bit harsh. Fair enough, but reflect for just a moment on everything we experience over the course of a day –how content we are with being indifferent. We wake up in a home where we comfortably have food, clothing, and are sheltered from the elements, yet we rarely note how very fortunate we are to have those things. We make our way to work comfortably in our private cars and could probably comfortably drive our routes blindfolded, forgetting that some people don’t have the capacity to operate a car at all. We have jobs, friends, and family we are generally fine with. We’re good with the status quo. We are comfortably numb.
We might consider making surface changes to get what we want but we’re rarely interested in putting forth the effort to make that change real. We don’t like things that require use to push beyond our physical or mental contentment. We seem to be OK with not challenging our indifference. Why should I do something where I find myself uncomfortably aware?
The answer… because that’s when we are most alive. When we have a real experience with ourselves, and others – when things are new and unfamiliar we are forced to develop new physical and mental relationships. We move… we live… and we get beyond simply being comfortably numb.
Speakeasy is a U.S. based development group – working with executives all over the world to help them achieve success by becoming the most powerful communicators they can be. For forty years, our highly credentialed, American trained and licensed consultants have used a deep, behavioral-based methodology to help individuals and entire organizations become better at both what they say… and how they say it.