We are becoming a nation of blame. Pointing the finger, trashing someone in the news, believing that everyone else is always at fault. Obviously this is unhealthy. It implies a lack of responsibility. We can see everyone else clearly, but personally we are clouded in mystery. This is easy to see in all of our media. Someone puts it out there, and we dump on it whether it is an idea, an act or just immobility. This kind of constant criticism takes no thought. It is usually “off the cuff” and unsubstantiated. As my father-in-law (PR man) was fond of saying: “Don’t confuse me with the facts.” And compounding this is the immediacy of our ubiquitous communications. Someone’s thought about “Whatever!” can go viral in a matter of seconds. This thought can be assimilated globally and then acted on by the reader or listener with either praise or blame. And you can’t take it back. You can apologize! But you can’t take it back. It’s out there. You are stuck with it for life. So where does this leave us?
How about thinking before we expound on any subject? Checking our facts is simple now on the internet. It takes seconds of our time. But we have to evaluate the importance of doing this. Is it necessary? Do we even care? There are only so many hours, minutes and seconds in a day. And we take a split second to decide if we want to take the time to get information before trashing someone over an issue we feel strongly about but on which we have limited information. The issue itself versus our limited time. This begs the question: Are we forgetting how to think? Is this bad habit infecting our children? Or do we just cop-out and blame someone else for any, or even all, of our mistakes and misjudgments? So far we have blaming and thinking. One is instantaneous the other takes our precious time. What makes the difference?
Character. Class. Integrity. Responsibility. Self-reliance. All of these make a profound difference in our lives and the lives of others. We need thoughtful opinions, and thought should be a complete circle. No gaps. So how do we learn to actually think clearly? First of all we must pull back from the chaos of the maddening crowd and learn to be alone. And once alone, there is a possibility that we can develop a train of thought that is organized and cohesive and unaffected by the popular ideas of the moment. This pulling back doesn’t need to be extensive, it can be minutes or even seconds. Flashes of clear thinking don’t need great length, just adequate space to live and grow.
This space can be created by music. But the music must have some kind of value attached whether it is vocal or instrumental. There are many styles which have music which can enable clear thinking. Classical, jazz, country, independent styles, all have sounds that can be thought provoking and have structure, not just be filled with propaganda or brain-washing loops. Also needed is depth in the lyrics, not mind-numbing hooks that propagandize your thinking. So choose wisely, be discriminating, and wake up your brain with musical interest, not wallpaper which causes the brain to atrophy. Sing a different song, march to a different drummer, make your own kind of music, and listen to sounds that are not part of the problem. Return to ground zero and be aware and listen! Wisely!