I have been using Twitter a bit lately and it’s got me thinking.
On Twitter you choose who you follow. You choose what voices to hear and what voices to respond to. I think there’s a great wisdom in that.
In general, I don’t read newspapers or watch news programes on television. I glance at headlines and if someone shares an interesting article online I’ll read that but usually a day or so later and on my kindle.
I have issues with news.
For one thing, there’s too much of it. There is far too much information in one daily paper for me to process and contextualise. The entire world’s news is now available to us and dumped on us. Our ancestors would have shared news from person to person. Newspapers until very recently were only a few pages long and contained stories about things that happened in the last few days and weeks. Today, the news is minutes and hours old and with less and less context.
For another, everything about news demands an opinion and a judgement. But beyond that, news now seems to demand a sense of horror or outrage. That’s terrible. Listen to the scandal. Be upset. Be angry. The world is a terrible place. This happens to the point of what I call ‘disaster-porn’. You only have to be exposed to a 24 hour news channel to discover how much of a producer’s wet dream a school shooting or a building collapse is. And we get to listen to hours of voices sharing their obligatory condemnation and sadness.
I felt quite vindicated last year when I read Tim Ferris’ ‘The 4Hour Work Week’. He suggests giving up news. If something of great importance happens, you’ll be told about it. It is very difficult to truly escape “news”.
I believe we should have enough information to inform us about the general state of the world and to empower us. Where is our help needed? But beyond that, it becomes a drain on our mental resources, a source of stress, and a waste of time.
I want you to skip the newspaper and the tv news, if not every day, at least once in a while.
Like on Twitter, I want you to choose who you listen to. There’s another voice that gets lost in the noise. Your inner voice is known by many names: your (higher) Self, God, the source, creativity, your Christ/Buddha-nature, and many more. Whatever you call or understand the knowing that comes to you in stillness, that’s the voice I mean.
There are many ways to experience that voice and all it takes is to turn down the competing voices. My advice is to find a few ways to create the space you need and to listen to your own inner voice. We are always talking to ourselves but how often do we actually listen? Listen to your body speaking. Are you tired or dehydrated but too busy to notice? Pick up a pen and start a journal. Take long walks. Daydream.
Just like on Twitter, listen to be informed and inspired. If a voice speaks to much or listening doesn’t serve you, hit unfollow. Listen to your voice, then speak it. Inspiration – Expiration. Breathe in. Breathe out. We breathe in and listen. We breathe out and speak what we hear. It’s all about the balance. When you listen, you will find you have things to say. It might not be in words, but You have something to say.
Take in the news about the world that you need, but no more. Take a long walk in silence. Daydream and dance. Listen to your own truth and speak it. Write a blog post. Write a letter. Give a talk at Toastmasters.
We are waiting to hear your voice and to hear your truth. Listen and speak it.