Some of my favorite memories involve time being quiet.
There’s something about a peaceful moment that can be everlasting in my mind. Sitting on the beach and feeling the warm wind. An early morning stroll without any sounds other than the springtime chatter of birds. Sunshine and a good book …
I can remember 30 years ago when I was in college and would have to read hours on end. I would find a cozy spot on my parents’ “Florida Room” porch and read until the warmth of the sunshine coming through the windows would lull me to sleep.
The peacefulness of a new day was what I enjoyed most during my daily morning run (before my feet and knees gave out). I tried running with music using headphones or earplugs, but nothing seemed to please me as much as the natural sounds of the neighborhood. And now that the weather is cooperating, I can sit on my back porch and read the newspaper.
During long trips in the car, I might drive for hours without listening to the radio or CD player. Quiet time is not only important to me; it’s a special part of my day.
Most of my devotion time comes early in the morning when the house is empty and still. Jennifer and Sydney are on their way to school and all of a sudden, the hustle and bustle of morning routines has disappeared.
Yes, stillness of soul is increasingly rare in this world we live in. We have become addicted to speed and noise. It seems that every portion of our day is replete with something that either demands we move fast or commands our attention with details. As much as I like watching television, listening to music and working on the computer, I’m having a difficult time with the recent realization that I can, and have been, interacting with all three components at the same time. Throw all these things into your vehicle, as we have done, and it is a recipe for disaster.
The overall mind-numbing saturation of information on the brain is beginning to “tell” on us folks. Remember when you had to tune in at 6 every evening to watch the news so you could see what happened in the world that day? Remember when you could only watch cartoons on Saturday? Remember when the weather forecast was a five-minute segment of the newscast? Remember when you had to go to the store to go shopping? Remember that in 1985 there was no World Wide Web? Now we have everything we want, when we want it.
A guy by the name of Buckminster Fuller created what is called the “Knowledge Doubling Curve.” Fuller took note that until about 1900, human knowledge doubled every 100 years. By the end of World War II, knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today, on average, knowledge doubles every 13 months. And according to IBM, with the build-out of the Internet, knowledge will soon start doubling at a rate of every 12 hours. Holy cow! I’m still trying to figure out how to set the clock on my VCR.
I’m not against technology and the information age. There are certain things I love about my smartphone and the Internet. But if we keep occupying all our time with more and more stuff, we’ll have no time for the thing we long for most — peace.
DeLong is the executive director of The Suites at Station Exchange. Call him at 912-531-7867 or go to thesuitesatstationexchange.com.