Today is Sunday here in Arkansas, which means a day of reflection and relaxation for me. The day usually begins with a lazy morning of listening to CBS Sunday Morning and then Face the Nation. These are the two forms of media presentations that offer me an overview of whats going on in the world, without getting too far into any type of agenda. That simply reflects my personal perspective, but offers something to expound upon for a further conversation. Notice the verb is used to describe my engagement of these aforementioned broadcasts, “Listen” verses watch. I do just that, as the programs are playing on the television, I reflect and enhance my own personal perspective. The commercial breaks allow me some spaces to write without affording any attention to the noise coming out of the television. This purposeful utilization of my senses is a handy tool for living in the modern world. Being aware of what’s being detected by one’s sensory receptors without the need to focus on all that is being detected is something our species has been doing for tens of thousands of years. My personal experiences with this date back to my early childhood while spending time with my dad in the outdoors learning to hunt and fish. He began to take me with him on these outdoor adventures as early as two years old, when I got to tag along on fishing trips. He would narrate the process for me as he prepared my fishing rod, baited my hook, then placed my baited line into the right location in the water to catch a fish. I got to set the hook, and pull the fish out of the water for him to remove from the hook, then he taught me the proper technique for handling my catch. During the pauses between the actual catching of the fish, he would tell me about what was taking place in the world around us. The things we were seeing, hearing, and smelling were the topics for which he used to teach me about how my life fit into the natural one surrounding us.Not all of his interpretations were exactly accurate to what i know today, but the process it instilled within me, still exists today. Who knew, that filtering through the sights and sounds of the forrest, and waterways would provide me the skills to emotionally navigate a social construct like the one we know today.
“Maybe mankind has taken the innovations that have lead us to modernity, without consideration for the biological roots grounding us to life itself…”
Distinguishing the sound a squirrel makes from the hundreds of sounds simultaneously taking place in the woods is nothing new to the human species, but applying that discipline to one’s life outside of those circumstances is a differentiating skill set. I think we see this in today’s disconnect with whats important newsworthy information, and all the garbage rhetoric spewed across the various channels. Let’s make it perfectly clear, not all stories presented by the various media outlets are garbage, but rather there’s a mixture of beneficial to garbage broadcast to the masses. This shotgun approach has evolved through decades of interaction between the fundamental dynamics of this relationship. Back in the day, when the radio was the medium for that prevalent technology of the day, there were literally a handful of organizations participating from the content side. This ratio to populous to creation required much less variety and volume to satisfy the supply/demand circumstances. The only competition was the printed media, which was delivered at such a slower pace, it put up little resistance to the birth of electronic information distribution. I still shake my head at continued existence of ink on paper, given the environmental detriment associated with the printing industry. (I worked 17 years in the printing industry) That is more of a testimonial to the reluctance of acceptance to change, than anything else. The adoption curve to innovation amongst our species is a classic bell curve distribution, and such applies even to how we get our information. No wonder that we have evolved unevenly to understand the dependence of our sensory skills, which we’ve raced to forget. Who knew the holes left in my life by my father’s absence, would be healed by the understanding he instilled in me engaging the universe around us.
“There’s something to the concept of idea sharing behind organizations like Rotary…”
Socially connecting is a beneficial behavior to the human race, or we would be more scattered and warlike. Anticipating the intentions of those around us often overrides the benefits of engaging others around us. These interactions with a diversified circle of people gives the individuals a sense of emotional balance as it were, considering the effects of isolation and clustering of narrow focused special purpose. We the people need to be more connected to our neighbors and community than the digital networks we obsess over. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place in the lives of the progressives to facilitate this fabulous instrument for connections, just not in lieu of, but rather in addition too. Get out and meet the people in your space within this life. Talk to different people to hear different perspectives, so you craft your reality, instead of drafting a pretend one. You don’t have to agree or disagree with anything at first contact. Learning to keep your fucking mouth shut during someone else time to talk, is certainly my biggest challenge, so this is far short of an indictment on the shortcomings of society, but a true reflection upon my circumstances as well. Help the weak, it’s what we humans do…