I've been choosing not to listen to the news lately. (Well, I did yesterday, and got not only a big dose of 9-11 New York political coverage, but news of New Orleans houses being bulldozed.) I've been thinking that not listening to the news is one tiny step back to the primitive life I've been desiring, where the thing you are most aware of is today's weather, your family, and your neighbors.
I decided that I could only care about one big 'cause' at a time without getting really stressed out. So I care about living healthily for myself, I care about my family, and as far as the world is concerned, I will pay attention to South America. Otherwise--it's way too much, and I feel like the radio wants me to worry and take responsibility for each one of the disasters it details for me.
Of course, my attempts to time warp myself back to a simpler life won't be too effective until I stop listening to the Spanish pop album I'm addicted to. The impulse stop at KFC for 2 twisters? And I have no idea how the internet fits in here, but the internet brought me the following:
"In seeking more quiet in your life, try speaking less. When you do speak, make a conscious effort to communicate more honestly. Make greater eye contact. Really look at someone when you speak to him or her and allow silent spaces. Truly listen. Start eliminating garbage from your communication. By garbage, I mean all the meaningless chatter we use to fill the spaces between others and ourselves instead of allowing for intimacy and authenticity.
"Clean up your language and pay attention to the words you use. Be more precise. Stay away from jargon or catch phrases and develop a broader vocabulary. I catch myself when I respond to someone relating an experience with a shallow "great"...I know I'm just being lazy when I resort to this kind of speech and don't really participate fully in the conversation.
"Watch what happens around you when you make the change to more careful speech, even in a small way. Living simply is about living consciously. Plain speaking is about the same thing. In an age of disingenuous and downright dishonest speech in so many areas of our lives, honest, thoughtful speech is always refreshing and contributes to everyone's sense of simple well being."
"Quiet has a way of putting us in the present like nothing else. As Ram Dass said, "Be, here, now." It's hard to do that when were' constantly chattering, recounting stories from the past, or sharing future plans. There's a place for these, of course, but being in the previous present is easier when we seek silence daily."
I like this idea so much--that in cutting *noise* we can actually achieve more genuine connections. That I need to stop using catch-phrases that are actually my way of avoiding an encounter with another.
So here's to paring down.