I just came across this video a few minutes ago:
It certainly got me to thinking – It’s amazing how often we take our senses for granted. I try to imagine not being able to hear, or see, or taste, or feel, or smell. But obviously, I can’t really know how it feels like. But looking at this baby being able to hear for the first time – wow! And that reaction! I can’t tell who’s happier – the baby or the mom.
This reminds me of that scene in Mr. Holland’s Opus, where Mr. Holland (played by Richard Dreyfuss) came to the realization that his son was deaf. Probably one of the best filmed scenes of all time, in my opinion. The disappointment in Mr Holland’s eyes – he being a music teacher, coupled with the thought that his son will never be able to share and experience the music that’s filled his life.
His moment of redemption came when when he performed John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy” for Cole:
I’ve said this before, but sometimes, I feel like we live in a society inundated with stimuli and distractions – so many things and media competing for our attention. While riding the subway and the bus home, I saw so many people with their earbuds on. Why do we feel the need to always be listening to something? What’s so bad with silence? Then just as suddenly, I realize I’m one of those people.
Is it because we equate silence with “boring”? Or maybe it’s because we want to silence the voices in our heads and in our hearts. We do not want to face the questions we might need to be asking ourselves.
Bottom line – we’re been conditioned to try to escape. Which, I guess is sometimes good (for sanity’s sake). Ubiquitous advertising and media have conditioned us to think that “escape is good” – coupled with images of happy smiley people in spas, beaches, ocean cruises and lakeside getaways.
As an example, take of the name “iPod“. This word has successfully entered into our vocabulary – and while we now take this for granted to denote a music/multimedia device, it doesn’t look like or function like a pod. So it’s not a literal descriptive name for the device.
But what it does is create a “virtual pod” which encases the listener into his media, wherein a person can close his/her eyes and block the world around. In that sense, the nomenclature is apt.
The problem is that the escape and the distractions actually take over our lives. We miss out on really seeing and hearing and experiencing the world around us. Hey, lots of interesting things happen. New sights and insights. Stuff to feed creativity. Events to fuel inspirations. Sherlock Holmes wouldn’t have been as observant if he was constantly tweeting or playing “Angry Birds” while listening to a playlist of 80’s rock music (Once again, guilty as charged)
I resolve to gift myself with more quiet moments. Unplug my earbuds some more, and try to observe and experience the world around.
As John Lennon says in the song embedded above, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”
(… syncing iPhone playlists as the blog is posted.)