Our blog post today comes from our WONDERFUL Core Member, Steven Pepin! It is definitely worth the read!! Enjoy!
The Value of Silence
Remember the Beach Boys singing about Kokomo: the place you can go to get away from it all? Sounds enticing, doesn’t it? But the real question is why. What is so alluring about the beach, about taking an afternoon to sit on the beach and enjoy yourself?
Today, especially as youth, our lives are filled with a constant drum of media. Emails, texts, tweets, wall posts, and snap chats fill our days, providing for us constant interruptions and distractions. And now with the prevalence of smart phones, we are always connected.
In our culture, we have a constant need to do, and it has become the social norm. We always need to be occupied, need to be engaged, need to be ‘doing’ something. It could be listening to music, watching talks or videos, reading articles, playing games, checking social media, browsing the internet, or often times, a combination of all of these. As long as we are ‘doing something,’ society says, ‘we are being productive or useful.’ And if we are not doing something, we are ‘bored.’
Step in a radical new concept: the idea of true leisure. Does watching television really to help you relax? Studies show that actually, no. Video games? Nope. So although this may be what you like to do in your spare time, it doesn’t actually help you relax; it doesn’t actually help you to get away from it all. So how can we really find that true escape?
There is a very simple solution. It may seem even radical in today’s culture.
I know what you’re thinking: I don’t want to sit in silence, that’s boring and useless. Or maybe: silence is scary, and it makes me feel intimidated. Fear not, you are not alone.
So why silence? Sitting alone in silence a much-unappreciated activity. It’s a time to discover yourself, to discover both who you are and who you want to be. It’s an opportunity to sit back and really think, really ponder through different aspects of life. You can get away from the constant nag of media and actually be apart from something for once. You can mull things over, think things through, and really examine situations. It’s finally a time to get outside yourself and find that peace that you’ve always wanted and have been seeking.
The good news is that silence is very easy to practice. But you do have to practice! Allow me to make a practical suggestion: try a media fast. Seem radical? It is. It may be very different from anything you’ve ever tried before. My challenge for you is to go a whole evening without any electronic media; phones, TVs, computers, and all other gadgets are off limits. Commit to it, try it out, and you will see the changes.
I’ll see you in Kokomo.