Columbia, SC — “The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.”
Today we are all connected, in many cases swamped or over-connected. Some people seem addicted to their connections to the point of endangering their own and others’ lives, for example in texting while driving.
It seems typical, as a result of completing an on-line survey, to start receiving e-mails offering sexual liaisons or scam financial opportunities.
As a therapist in a general counseling practice, I have seen one partner caught in an affair when the other discovered the spouse’s emails, discovered downloaded nude pictures or saw communications with a lover on Facebook — all seemingly oblivious to the fact that they are virtually advertising their misdeeds. One parent found her daughter sending nude pictures to her male peers. Internet pornography addiction, especially among men, many of whom are apparently highly placed, is increasingly reported as the electronic age moves in.
While there are definite benefits to electronic contacts, such as when family members are separated geographically in the military or otherwise, they make many of us — especially boomers — want to run for cover. What happened to the joys of peace and quiet and solitude, of contemplation and meditation?
The popularity among Americans of eastern religions, with their emphasis on contemplation and meditation, may reflect a deeper yearning for solitude and peace and quiet. Many of the therapies that have been proven to work for post-traumatic stress disorder include meditation and relaxation exercises and activities. The brain is simply over-loaded like an over-heated car, and the best treatment for this is to get off the highway and cut off the engine.
The Book of Common Prayer describes God as “the author of peace and lover of concord.” How can we experience peace and concord with all the racket, discord and lack of personal boundaries in our society and our social discourse?
Harry S. Mustard