Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Power of Silence

Rick and I have given up television—again. The house is once again, blissfully silent. I feel calmer and, even though I rarely sat and watched programs, I seem to have much more time now. Even as background sound the noisy box was grabbing my attention-- just enough to slow me down.

We’re not abstaining completely. We’ve learned, from previous idealism, what’s practical and what won’t fly. We’ll watch the news, and an occasional sporting event. Netflix videos are fair game. But we’ve gone back to a mostly tv-free peacefulness. I used to think that I was making the most of my time. Instead of simply folding laundry in silence, I was learning too. News or cooking programs were adding value to my life. Was it the multitasking or simply the never-ending sound that exhausted me?

I know we’ll be tempted. At the end of a long hard day at work, we’ve loved vegging out with “Law and Order.” But, just like overindulging in deep dish pizza or scotch, too much tv doesn’t feel good. I know from experience, if I fight the urge, I’ll read more or just sit and relax in silence. Without fail, when I sit in silence for any length of time, I’ll have that “aha” moment—an invaluable insight from a deeper part of myself.

I think we’ll succeed this time, not because our willpower is greater (that never works), but because we’ve learned (through trial and error) how much tv is food and how much is poison. Like learning to love exercise or salads, we have learned to crave the silence in our home. It revitalizes and restores us.

What is your experience of television?

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