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Thursday, October 9, 2008

America, Shut Up and Sit Down

An acquaintance of mine and I recently discussed how we’ve observed how a lot of folks we encountered in our day to day lives had a strange summer. People felt like life was moving faster than normal and it was hard to keep up. I can totally get that—I felt the same way, too.

As fall begins, I am getting that sense of being overwhelmed again. Now, I’ve been weathering a family crisis recently, so I am extra raw, I’ll grant that. But despite my life happenings, I am not alone.

With the swift moving, depressing, and intense national financial news, heated and fast paced national and local elections, and wars going on, it’s no wonder that we get weighed down. In fact, I was an insomniac this morning so I turned on KIRO News Radio and listened to an in-depth report of how many Americans are stressed out, so much so, that many are turning to therapy and other support groups to get help (that is, if they can afford it). The report offered tips on managing stress (good food, rest, exercise, fellowship, thinking positively, and doing things you like). Okay, that’s great.

But what about just shutting up?

Seriously. Maybe we should stop talking for a second and take in the silence and really listen to it. We won’t hear the answers blowin’ in the wind, but I think there’s great value in staring out the window and doing positively nothing. Thinking.

I remember watching a “Curb Your Enthusiasm” episode where the main character Larry and his agent Jeff were taking an airplane trip to the East Coast. Larry was getting agitated because Jeff was just sitting there doing nothing. Larry put down his magazine and asked Jeff, “Aren’t you going to do anything?” Jeff replied, “No, I am just going to sit.”

I think that’s a plan America. Sit, think, SLOW DOWN, reflect. We don't always have to keep moving 24 hours a day.



Lorraine Hart said...

Good topic Kim. I believe balance is the key word here...and we're always given patterns in nature to instruct us. As my Grandfather Grey Wolf would chuckle and say, "If the Creator wanted you to talk more and listen less, you would have two mouths and one ear!"

I have realized that silence frightens many two-leggeds. It is very important to learn to breathe and be with ourselves. Then we can balance being with others, lively debate and great works.

JosephMcG said...

Listening comes very hard to us frightened, needy folks... we are moving so fast that we really want others to pay attention to us and listen to us...
I would like to think that, someday, we might realize that loving oneself (getting in tune with one's feelings, letting other folks really get to know us, and realizing that a smile and a listening attitude helps everyone to feel better about themselves, will become part of the way we live with one another...
All I can really say is that tonight I shall try to be a better listener...


Stephanie Frieze said...

I have long maintained that part of the problem with American society--which extends right into the current economic situation--is that in our rush to have it all we've created a lifestyle that causes stress which causes disease. Moreover, all that rushing around costs money whether it is the gas we go rushing with, meals out, impulse items purchased. Your topic is timely, Kim. We all need to slow down and listen to the sound of silence.

Kim Thompson said...

Through some recent struggles, sage advice from family and friends, and my reliance on this 'hood (which I've been away from for a bit), led me back to these beliefs. Thanks for the validation.