In two weeks I’m going to pass the threshold of my 65th year. That’s a poetic way of saying, “I think I’m getting older.” So be it.
It’s better than the alternative and it does carry benefits.
One is spouting off about how the world is going to pot and it wasn’t that way when I was younger. I beg to differ with myself, though. It wasn’t any better when I was younger.
Just the same in a different way. (Actually, when I was younger in the 60’s is when the world literally began to go to “pot.”)
Back in those days, teachers in tamer schools wondered where the world was heading when they saw their charges smacking chewing gum. Someone waxed eloquent about it:
“A gum chewing student and a cud-chewing cow– To me they look alike somehow. A difference there is, ah, I see it now; It’s the thoughtful look on the face of the cow.”
They don’t write poetry like that anymore.
So today, I’d like to rail about modern woes such as iPhones and iPods. When I’m in a train station here in the Paris area, nearly half the people are lost in gazing at the loveliness of their telephone.
They walk around in their little bubble, delighting in the exquisiteness of screeching music that only they can hear or reading the latest blog from the latest expert.
(Um, my conscience impels me to tell you that I’ve got an iPhone, an iPod, an iPad-mini and a kindle. And you might see me wandering around the train station lost in another world at times).
We can’t stand silence.
What Was He Thinking About?
Once I was in Kenya and as we traveled through the countryside I saw a man sitting on a rock under a scrubby tree. He watched over his herd of cows but he seemed lost in another world as he gazed into the distance.
And I thought to myself, “What does he have to think about? There’s nothing but cows here. Back home in his village nothing much happens.”
Oh, he may have to fend off dangerous wild animals and find grass in a landscape that resembles the moon in its “lushness.”
But, he doesn’t have to decide what he thinks about global warming, or republicans or democrats, or choose between Burger King and McDonald. What a boring life he must have without an iPhone.
Who Has Who?
I wonder, though. Do we have our technology or does our technology have us? We’re taking in and taking in but we’ve eating without really ruminating. So much to hear and see and know. Just take it in!
And at the last our brains are mesmerized and instead of thinking we just repeat what we hear on television or see on Internet. Todays “thought leaders” are Beyoncé et Jay Z, talk-show diva Ophra, and talk-radio bigmouths.
It’s amazing. We’re letting others think for us and when people ask us what we think, we say, “baaaa!” Like sheep we simply bleat back whatever is cool at the moment.
Don’t worry, though, we won’t have to think about it long because we’re off to some other idea or media-inspired campaign. If we stayed here too long we might get BORED or worse, we might have to THINK about what is being said.
The Sound of Silence
It’s almost as if we’re scared of silence because if we’re quiet too long we might hear God’s voice.
Let’s be honest. We’re not going to get away from noise because we live in a noisy world. Couldn’t we build silence into our lives, though?
How about 15 minutes every day when there is no TV, internet, or radio? What if we put some days into our schedule each year with nothing but silence and thinking? No media.
Dangerous idea, that.
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”Psalm 46:10,.NIV
“A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak …” (Ecclesiastes 3:7)
“Keep silence before Me, O coastlands, And let the people renew their strength!” (Isa. 41:1, NIV)
Hmmm … Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is that I am stupid and make bad decisions. Internet