You know that searing moment that informs you that you have seen something significant. I just had one. We were driving on a beautiful countryside road marred with a rubbish dump. People had managed to do what ought to be considered unthinkable, but is not. They had strewn all their household garbage on that beautiful countryside. And because they had been doing it over years, it covered quite a stretch of the landscape. I couldn’t shut my eyes in angst because I was driving.
The moment came when I saw an obviously mentally unstable man standing in the midst of this rubbish dump. He was making a point to a woman staring at him. Her look clarified that she was confused. She wasn’t sure whether to listen to him or walk away. She must have been scared by the possibility of being hurt if the man did not approve of her response. But how did she come to be in that place in the first place? As I watched them from the car mirrors after I had passed them, it hit me how many opinions we are forced to listen to all the time. And how many of these opinions are worth the sound planted in our ears?
Internet research informs that ‘Noise health effects are the physical and psychological health consequences of regular exposure, to consistent elevated sound levels. Elevated workplace or environmental noise can cause hearing impairment, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, annoyance, and sleep disturbance.’
Should you be listening to what you are listening to? From TV, radio, everyone wanting to pour sound your way? I don’t think so. I wish I had the time to do the research of how much unnecessary sound we allow into our lives on a daily basis, but even without doing so, I am sure many of us listen to too much. Too much of what we will not need or use because of the lack of value in its content. Perhaps this is why we are told that one of the few times God boomed His voice on earth, the words were ‘Listen to Him’.
There are people and things that it is important to listen to. But it is not everyone wishing to send sound your way. It is not every radio program beamed out for the purpose of presenting a ‘viable channel’ that you should be allowing into your world. It is not every movie that should enthrall our imaginations. Many of us will listen to friends and personalities on social media, and will not bother to read what is directly related to our work or family’s needs. We will fill up on political discussions, gossip, health discussions, any sound that fills the space, and fail to listen to our own hearts and what our souls need direction on.
When was the last time you shut out the world and listened to your thoughts, your heart, and took decisions based on clarity obtained from hours of quiet? Take care not to weaken your world and future by listening to what you ought not to listen to. Take care to prepare for your world and future based on quiet reflections and well-intentioned strategies.