JournalismPakistan.com April 10, 2013
Oops, I have just had a thought. That mankind (me, you and the neighbors) is running scared, it hasn't got the gumption to be alone with itself.
Look at us. We are constantly trying to escape ourselves in case we get found out.
Get in car, immediately make mobile phone call, perish the option of spending 20 minutes enjoying our own company. If not that, hit the FM button, need the alien presence.
Sit in a cafe, fiddle with SMS, make needless call, download some drivel.
Reach home, promptly reach for remote control and put on TV, drowning out any chance of sharing our thoughts with the mindless wash from the box.
Get onto a plane, several hours of delightful repose stretch ahead of us, and what do we yearn for...earphones!!!! Like security blankets and pacifiers for babies we need our noise quotient and our synthetic company.
Enter office, go to the net, surf Facebook, email, talk to strangers, come home do the same, something to keep us company.
Go it alone, are you crazy?
Technology has made sure it has invaded our privacy and established a beachhead.
Simple message: if you are alone with yourself, you might discover you have nothing to say.
So cram every waking second with decibel drummings.
The more I think about it the more I fear my theory, half-baked though it might be, has merit.
We don't want to be with ourselves, having completely lost that wonderful dimension that Plato called mental leisure. Where man's greatest thinking was done as he lay back undisturbed and let the links of his ideas evolve into grand designs. If Rodin’s Thinker had been constantly watching the telly fat lot of good it would have done his thinking?
These were once words for wisdom: leisure, repose, calm, tranquility, peace of mind, recreation, solitude. The right to be truly alone.
So, hell-o, what happened. We are all so assembly lined, made of ticky tacky and we think just the same. That little dusty heap you see in the corner is Original Thought, dead from disuse.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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