Counter-culture and silence
I’ve really tried to appreciate silence this week.
In appreciating silence, I’ve found yet another way to be or seek to be counter-cultural. I was headed up to another floor in our building today and as the door opened in the elevator 3-4 people were standing there with white ear buds connected to some unseen device in their pocket. If you’ve not been living under a rock for the past 5 years, you’ll know that they were connected to the ever ubiquitous iPod. As I thought about it, that device, next to the cell phone has permiated college-culture to the point of saturation. There used to be a time that walking across the quad meant trying to avoid the dive-bombing squirrels and just simply interacting with the place you go to school. The iPod and the cell phone have single-handedly turned passing period into office and entertainment time.
In our need to be ever so more connected, have we missed out on something? As a good friend of mine often says ‘What are we running away from’? Is silence that scary? Does our student culture really know how to rest? Is it a priority? Does entertainment = rest? The majority of people would lean towards that conclusion, but entertainment often provides an escape that don’t solve our problems but creates more.
I there is an increasing opportunity for mind share in this world. As an educator the ubiquity of these devices offers another opportunity to step into a student’s life through a new channel; it should be exploited. As a Christian, it challenges us to become more healthy and fit and to treasure rest more and to use that time to become fully refreshed vs. just being ‘downtime’. As a person, I’m saddened by it because there are times when we need to listen and reflect and by doing so, we’ll be better off for it.