We’re becoming quite intolerant of letting each other think complicated things. To hear someone else out, you need to be able to be still for a while and pay attention to something other than your immediate needs. So if we’re living in a moment when you can be in seven different places at once… on a phone here, on a laptop. How do we save stillness?
Erik Erickson talks about the need for stillness in order to fully develop and to discover your identity and become who you need to become and think what you need to think. Stillness is one of the great things in jeopardy.
When we’re texting, on the phone, doing e-mail, getting information, the experience is of being filled up. That feels good. And we assume that it is nourishing in the sense of taking us to a place we want to go. And I think that we are going to start to learn that in our enthusiasm and in our fascinations, we can also be flattened and depleted by what perhaps was once nourishing us but which can’t be a steady diet. If all I do is my e-mail, my calendar, and my searches, I feel great; I feel like a master of the universe. And then it’s the end of the day, I’ve been busy all day, and I haven’t thought about anything hard, and I have been consumed by the technologies that were there and that had the power to nourish me. If kids feel that they need to be connected in order to be themselves that’s quite unhealthy. They’ll always feel lonely, because the connections that they’re forming are not going to give them what they seek.
Sherry Turke, Alone Together