He presses his tiny hands against the sides of his face and says, “Mommy it’s too loud for my ears.” Though my little boy enjoys being loud, he does not enjoy loud noises in general. The irony is not lost on me.
Huddled next to the couch, waiting for Momma to control the volume that unexpectedly increased in the cartoon he was watching, I took note of his posture.
The mental snapshot of my son huddled in the corner, hands pressed to his ears, resonated with me. I know how he feels.
This place is “too loud for my ears.”
In a world filled with forums (both real and virtual) for individuals to voice their convictions, it seems the exchange has reached a fever pitch. Our brokenness is screaming and no one is playing fair.
We’re all vying for attention and audience, and the competition is ruthless. It’s shocking to me how quickly we set aside social graces to tear each other apart with no regard for context or consequence. Words come quickly and, in just a few characters, we have delivered blows we don’t fully understand, and started or engaged in battles that have no real winners. We no longer sit eye-to-eye with those we oppose to talk through a healthy enlightened debate. Instead we flock to social media, choosing to engage one another through tweets, texts, blogs (I know—ironic) and statuses baited for further decent into argument. Battle lines constantly being drawn. A new war waged every day.
We’ve cheapened the human experience. We’re better than this.
Like my son, I want to be heard, but am finding the volume in the world around me to be stifling. I can’t wrap my mind or my heart around the storm brewing outside. So I have taken a more huddled, quiet position as of late. I’m not sure throwing another angry, strained voice into the conversation really serves any of us. And frankly, I simply don’t know that it’s worth it.
Someday, when the world quiets a bit, I may just have something worth adding to the conversation. Until then, I think I’ll put the world on mute.
I’m choosing quiet … because my ears hurt.
Photo (Flickr CC) by Anderson Mancini