Breathe A Sigh Of Relief

544. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

Talking with my peers who, like me, identify as young but our conversations are sounding suspiciously like the conversations our parents used to have (“my body hurts…,” “I don’t have the energy for it…,” “We were never like that…”), our topic turned to “young people plugged into their ear buds who seem to be lost in a world of their own.” Good contrarian that I am, I had another point of view on the “young” escapees.

Nobutoshi Kihara developed the Sony Walkman way back in the 1970’s and the catalyst for the technology was to create a way for people to listen to their music without disturbing others. It was an invention born from consideration, a distinctly Japanese idea. Translated to an American consumer it morphed into a way for people to tune out the noise and chaos of contemporary life. I offered this notion to my pals: most of us now live in an urban environment, we can’t walk down the street without advertisements competing for our attention no matter where we turn (a boat is now trolling the Puget Sound beaches pulling a with a billboard…nothing is sacred), our world is plagued by a non-stop political campaign defined by ugly accusations, political parties that are either useless or crazy and certainly no longer interested in compromise or governing, news organizations that gave up their mission decades ago and now believe their job is to entertain (so they shout and organize fights), bankers that no longer serve their communities but instead pillage from them, schools driven by the one thing we know that impedes education (a focus on an outcome instead creating a process of discovery), cops with guns, crooks with guns, moms with guns, an economic machine that needs war to be healthy, terror, terror everywhere,…who wouldn’t want to put in ear buds and play a different soundtrack? I suggested that the sanest people on the street are the ones who are refusing to listen to the noise and instead are at least proactive enough to take care of themselves.

When I asked my pals how much television they watched each day, they grumbled knowing what I was implying. There are many ways to tune out. There are many forms of complacency.

Yesterday I took a short hike on a forest trail and it only took a few minutes for me to get quiet inside. With no one screaming for my attention, with no one screaming at others or honking or emailing or proclaiming, pontificating, threatening, inflating, running to get there, racing to get here, I was amazed at how much I wanted to tune in to my surroundings. I wanted nothing between me and the natural rhythm; my pace slowed, my senses opened and I breathed a deep sigh of relief.

One Response

  1. A strong statement. Thank you for always creating a new story.

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