JournalismPakistan.com January 14, 2015
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.
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.
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.
If not that, run away to silly games or send chat messages endlessly just to be in contact with someone. Perish the thought we find ourselves alone… with ourselves. Scared of that more than anything else.
These were once words for wisdom: leisure, repose, calm, tranquility, peace of mind, recreation, solitude. The right to be truly alone. Now, we have cram the spaces with mental debris.
We actually think, now who can I call, what extra sound can I tune into to, I cannot sit here by myself, that is unacceptable.
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.
Quick, silence descends, we might be alone for all of six minutes, panic, let’s do something. Call someone, make contact, put on the stereo, maybe even drive past the third rock from the sun.
You think I am pushing it, come on, I hear you, things are not that bad, people need company, what’s wrong with that, this is a dramatic indictment.
Okay, sorry, I withdraw, you are right, we love ourselves and we luxuriate in our own company. Fine. Now, do yourself a little test.
How many times were you alone today, like truly just you. The world’s gone, for the moment.
Come on, hear the sounds of silence.
(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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