We’re all connected these days. Whether you want to be, or not. For the most part, I want to be. I am, without a doubt, a “people person.” I love to listen and learn about others. Although I secretly suffer from severe, social anxiety issues, I can almost always hold my own at a party (large or small).
There are times that I painfully crave socialization. Paradoxically, I adore solitude. Some days, nothing would make me happier than to not see, hear, or speak to anyone but myself. I know that comes off a tad conceited, but in all fairness, I have four children and an opinionated husband, so when I talk to myself, I listen. Then I feel heard, validated, and important. Then I can go on to have a great day! Silly, huh? Silly, but true.
I once read about a woman who decided to be silent. From what I can remember, it was an exercise in patience and tolerance. She was looking to find a way to be more thoughtful when reacting to others (as I recall, mostly with her husband). It worked. She committed to it for quite awhile, and learned quite a bit about herself and those around her, too. She mostly found that the very person, who criticized her for being overly opinionated, was going out of his mind wondering what she was thinking and begged her to quit the exercise.
She agreed to speak again on everyday except the first Monday of every month. She found power in silence and just couldn’t give it up completely. So on that one day, she turned off her phone(s) and navigated through her world an island unto herself; allowing people to find the strength inside them to deal with it. They were going to have to find the inner strength to deal with waiting.
For isn’t the belief in instant gratification, a belief that has become so prevalent these days, what is really sucking the happiness out of being connected to so many, so often? I would definitely be happier to answer the phone (even at an inopportune moment) if I didn’t already know that the person calling will not only leave a message on my home answering machine, but will also hit my voicemail on my cell, shoot me an email, and inbox me on Facebook!
All of this because they’d like to know if I was going to go the preschool picnic, or not. Everything and everybody has become pretty full of themselves, myself included at times, and I’m committed to starting the movement to stop the madness. It’s an official call to arms! So, are you willing to hang up your phone, hit cancel on that inquisitive email you’re about to send, and be a little more silent with me? Oh, I’m sorry. I missed your answer. I had to comment on my friends new photo album they just posted. Maybe I’ll wage this war tomorrow.