It’s easy to hear and it’s hard to listen. Information spreads like wild fire, and right when we get indoctrinated with one idea, we are getting information about the next thing that should overtake all of our thoughts and emotions. Every day we talk about different things that conjure up strong reactions. We do so by talking intentionally in ways that conjure up the opposite strong reactions in others. We use to be able to ask the question “What are you passionate about?” and expect a few well informed answers. Now the question is no longer “What are you passionate about?” it’s “Why aren’t you passionate about what I’m passionate about?” The truth is, I think many of us lose sight of what we’re passionate about. It gets buried so deep within the mountain of information we are forced to process each day that we have a hard time digging into it to really dissect our passions. We are also taught why we should be passionate about things at this time while we should not have been passionate about those same things another time. We are overloaded with information. That information keeps coming in and makes it impossible for us to think for ourselves, it makes it impossible for us to have conversations with other people, and it makes it impossible for us to think rationally. This is nobodies fault except for our own.
Our irrational rhythms have bread erratic behavior.
Rational rhythms of life can help cultivate a culture of sensibility, sensitivity, and civility.
There are so many different ways to look at this idea of rational rhythms. I want to look at them all, but I’m only going to look at one right now. More may come later, but for our purposes, I don’t want to just shove more and more information down your throat. I feel like that would be counterproductive.
We look at screens for hours in a day. We probably look at screens more than we look at people. I’m going to guess that you’re looking at a screen right now! Our accessibility to these screens at any point in a day can be seen as a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because we literally have all the information we could ever want at our fingertips. It is a curse because we literally have all the information we could ever want at our fingertips. These screens can be an incredible way to connect us with each other and with the world. They are also our main source for instantaneous news and entertainment. We are flooded with information every second of every minute of every hour of every day. This information is shared with us in a way that is intended to evoke a response. As we are responding we get flooded with more information in a way that is intended to evoke a response. We are then coerced into responding certain ways depending on who we listen to or align with. The interesting part about it is that it is done in a way that is seemingly unnoticeable. We no longer think for ourselves. We let our screens think for us. We open our phones, tablets, computers and televisions only to see the headlines for the day. The next day we do the same thing, but this time we are told how to feel about the headlines from the previous day. The day after that we do the same thing, except for this time we are told how to respond to those feelings that we were told to feel the previous day.
I believe the amount of time we look at our screens is unhealthy. I know a lot of you have probably heard all the arguments about screen time and you might have personal rules or household rules set up to regulate the amount of time you or your family look at screens. I want to add to that conversation, hopefully with a different approach.
We are in an age where we are more connected than ever, yet I don’t think we have ever been this disconnected. We are disconnected from reality, from our environments, from our families and from our friends. We are even disconnected from ourselves. We find ways to live vicariously through those who seem to be doing amazing things, not realizing that we have the potential to do those same amazing things if we quit spending all of our time living vicariously through others. We no longer think for ourselves because we never give ourselves enough time to think. We absorb more and more information but never let it settle and materialize so that we can wrestle through it ourselves. Has it not become overwhelming to you yet? When is it going to get to the point where everyone finally says enough is enough?
I’m so thankful that we are able to hear about injustices, but I am so tired of those injustices being exploited. So many of the headlines can quickly become exploitations. When we hear about injustices, we no longer hear about how we can help, but about who’s fault it was. Every time we open up our news sources everyones pointing fingers and we, naturally, do the same thing, because we have a hard time establishing the rhythms that help us think for ourselves. We have a hard time establishing the rhythms that cultivate rational responses.
Rational rhythms are not fast. Rational rhythms are not confusing. Rational rhythms do not conform to the world around us, rational rhythms conform to us. They are determined by us, individually. If you need to slow down, slow down. If you need to speed up, speed up. Quit feeling like you have to be in the center of all the noise of this world. Quit feeling like you have to shout the loudest. When we slow down and when we quiet down, we are able to make sense of the things that matter.
I pray that The Rational Anthem isn’t just another tool to add to the noise. I pray that this is a tool to help us make sense of the noise. It’s such a loud world, and when we get lost in it we actually lose each other. We don’t talk to ourselves enough. Figuring out things on our own is a thing of the past. Can you think on your own? Will you think on your own? Oh how beautiful it would be if news was no longer sensationalized. Oh how beautiful it would be if we began to turn off our screens enough to process information ourselves. Oh how beautiful it would be if we no longer longed for the noise, but found ways to exist in the quiet spaces of this world, figuring out how we can contribute our best to those around us.