An Idle Mind

Beautiful beach for an idle mind.

In early America an idle mind was the devil’s workshop.

In today’s world an idle mind is a rare and enjoyable experience.

Years ago, in my first career, one of my best friends was the local newspaper publisher. I used to love to pop in the back door and say “stop the presses”.  Of course now, there are few, if any, local newspaper publishers. And they certainly don’t use presses so my trying to be clever would be useless. It was pretty useless even then.

Anyway, my friend and I would get a coffee together and my main memory is of him saying “I just need think time”.

Strange, I thought, since I believed we all think all the time, but I have learned over the years that really we don’t think at all, or at least not very much.

What we do is react.

TV show, movie, radio, online blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, on and on.

Somebody says something and we react. We click the “like’ button or the “thumbs down” button and go on with our reacting day.

And be quick about it.

It seems we are all, including me, so rushed for time that we can spare just a few seconds of time to respond.

You do know that “respond” is different from “react”, right?

When you “respond” you give some thought to what the other person is saying. You think about it, without fear of being laughed at or shot. Then you present your thoughts.

It’s called “dialogue”, and I miss it in today’s world.

I’m just as guilty as anyone. There was a time when I loved the debate. I learned from the debate. I respected my opponent even when I disagreed with him or her.

“I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to my death your right to say it”.

Have we lost that ethic?