Our medical society is stymied as to why so many of U.S. Americans are stressed or depressed, and thus suffering from diseases that result from these two conditions. I have a decent history with stress and depression myself. No, I'm not proud of that; but it is reality. Why, in this age with so many tools and conveniences at our fingertips, do we never seem to escape the ravages of hurry and worry?
Here are a couple of guesses.
We don't know how to be still. Instead of utilizing dishwashers, laundry equipment, cell phones, computers, automobiles, and every other imaginable piece of time-saving gadgetry to our advantage, we use them to pack more into our living. We don't work hard and wisely with our tools in order to be done at a decent time and go home to our loved ones and relax. We work hard in order to get more gadgets and impress people with the toys and with the moniker of "busy." (People are impressed with busy people. Busy people are impressed with busy people.)
But happy people usually know better.
I have to believe that another source of our hassled existence is our non-stop media connection. Radio, iPod, email, facebook, myspace and TV are incredible tools. I also think they are deep pools of insanity. We lose ourselves in their jumble. We are addicts. (Do NOT try and tell me you aren't. If you do, I'll challenge you dump them for a couple of months and see how you react--most likely as a junkie without his fix, or an alcoholic without her bottle or a fish without its water. You'll say: There's no way I can go without it, its part of my job! I have to connect there or I'll get left behind!" Or, "I could turn them off any time I want, I just don't need to. In Barbara Brown Taylor's words from a few articles back, we see perceive our addictions as power tools. Not problems.
And indeed, they should be. Until we smear our needs and desires all over their glistening surfaces.
I'm relearning how to sit still; to be still and know that God is God, as a wise writer once said. Perhaps, it is better to say: Be still and know that our business and our busy tools are not God.
I read Jerry Mander's book Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television back in the early '80s. I just checked it out on Amazon, and it is still a highly rated title. It is not a religious approach to the question of media. It is not even all that much about television. But it is a mighty presentation (even if written from a bit of a Luddite perspective) of the way we as a human race are separating ourselves from natural (and I would add spiritual) moorings, and are paying a heavy, heavy price.
I'm trying to grow up and be a big boy. I'm trying to put away childish things. I'm thinking of dumping my dependence upon television. Radio has been a great first step. But, but, but....! No, I can get the news from my laptop. I can keep up with the weather there too.
OK, I said it here first. No TV for a week for me. But, I love the news!!!!, Nope. You can ask me how I'm doing. You game?