Perhaps it was because of the way I was raised . . . We weren’t allowed to watch television endlessly, heck, for many years we didn’t have television and when everyone else it seemed had such things as cable and VCRs, we still had only one black and white set with those really long rabbit ears that got more fuzz than picture most days anyway.
When I was younger we were allowed to choose which program we wanted to watch per week and that was that. During that hour we could watch the television uninterrupted but after that there was no television unless you happened to like what your siblings were watching.
Back then we were living in a very rural place. The end of our street literally gave way to the mountains and nearly every day and long into the evening once the days grew longer in summer, I, along with the other neighborhood kids ventured off into those woods to undertake grand adventures with swords of fallen twigs and tiny canoes made of tree bark which we raced down the river that cut through the dense forest of tall pines.
I’m not sure if my parents ever worried, but we always came home before dark (tho we did push it to the very limit of what darkness meant to be sure!). We were not dependent on man-made things but on our own creativity and the beautiful playground nature provided. There were no malls and only one grocery store slash post office in town. On rare weekends we would pile into the old station wagon and head to the local watering hole on main street where they would serve popcorn and juice to the kids while playing children’s movies on a very old, worn projector.
At school, since the playground was vast and also surrounded by trees and woodlands, we ran around until we were exhausted at recess. There wasn’t any need for P.E. because we always wanted to be outside even in the snow.
I grew older and we moved to places more populated, but the idea of television and malls just wasn’t on my radar screen. I learned to be okay by myself, to entertain myself.
I don’t watch much television today. Sure, it might be on, talking to itself somewhere, but I’m not hostage to it like so many people I know. I don’t follow any program consistently and I don’t really watch the news. Recently, I noticed while busy in another room that the only sounds coming from the television were those of anger and hate. I flipped the channel and it was more of the same, violence, people cursing each other, people crying, it was all so negative. And it was enough to drown out that soft, gentle enlightened voice inside me, so I turned it off.
I think, and remember this is only my opinion, we have not necessarily grown better with the advent of television or perhaps even the Internet . . the media. A little goes a long way. You have to know when to shut it off and when to tune it out and if you find yourself day after day wallowing in some depressed and negative haze, then stop allowing those things to beam themselves into your consciousness. They can be destructive. They can produce fears you didn’t even know you had. They can control.
The Escape Hatch is there. You simply have to turn your back on the constant stream of information and noise surrounding you. The stream that tells you you aren’t good enough until you have this or that or you lose this many pounds or have that person in your life. The stream that tells you that the people in the next country might want to kill you and that you should be mistrustful of people who look different than you. Nothing good comes from these messages and yet they are all around you all the time.
Your brain is never silent. It is filled with all kinds of narrative based on what you’ve been taught. If your brain is already filled to bursting with negative things, how then can you ever claim enough silence to hear your mind, heart and soul speak?
I say find the hatch and get through it. Learn to love the silence. Listen to those other parts of you that remind you, you are an incredible being of light and you are loved even if you don’t think you feel that love at times. Listen to the whispers that tell you, you are in control of your own destiny and you can help heal the earth and others with your positive thoughts. Spend time in thought, real, true, meaningful, mindful thought. It doesn’t mean you have to sit and meditate though that is a great thing… I found my awareness of the Now simply by plucking the seeds from a Pomegranate today. A simple act with limitless results. Not only did my juice taste amazing, but my thoughts were amazing as well.
If this world brings you down, know it isn’t this world but those that control what you hear and see. Turn them off. Find inspiration in the sunrise and the solitude, or in the gently falling flakes just before greedy night swallows them up. Spend a few minutes each day without the noise of your television, computer, newspapers, magazines, phone, etc., to simply Be.