Shhhhh! (Part 1)

shhhhh1We live in a time when we face an avalanche of words on a daily basis.

If you’re not talking to someone on your cell phone, likely the person next to you is.  Tweets, texts, and email seem relentless as they invade our space.  The blogosphere is filled with comment, comment on the comment, as well as comment on the comment on the comment (not to mention the denunciations of the comment along with defense of the comments along with denunciation of the denunciation). Talk radio blares out of whatever device we’re using to while TV talk shows multiply, seemingly without end.

Sites on the internet offer almost endless programming to stream or download for our listening pleasure.  Books seem to be getting longer these days as well.  Periodicals pile up on the kitchen counter.  Audio books wait for us in the car.

Had enough yet?
Words, words, and more words.  Yet with the sheer volume of words we face each day comes risk. Sociologists talk about the problem of “data smog.”  Increasingly we’re simply choking on the sheer volume of information that engulfs us.

The problem is that having lots of information hardly guarantees understanding, let alone wisdom.  John Sommerville, for example, advances the argument that the twenty-four hour news cycle (more words offered as news even if nothing new has happened) not only fails to inform but actually makes us dumber. Pascal would warn us that the white noise of so much speech inevitably distracts us from the fact we’re not paying attention to the questions of existence.

In other words, constant noise is the environment you want when a culture is driving off a cliff.

Another danger we face, of course, is that too many words ultimately devalues all words.  Just like the seemingly endless reproduction of works of art actually lessens their power, so the indiscriminate multiplication of words devalues the linguistic “coin of the realm”.  Jesus warns us, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” (Mt. 6:7).  Jesus adds his admonition, “Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few” (Eccl. 5:2).

Promiscuous speech, at least according to the Bible, is neither a sign of wisdom nor maturity.  In fact, it can be an indicator of a lack of integrity. We talk so much that we don’t take even our own words very seriously – and neither do others.  In Matthew 5, Jesus says our speech should have such a reliability about it that we don’t have to back it up with lots of claims and promises, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (v. 37).

But that requires a disciplined use of words that means that fewer words are words that more people take seriously.

About wmarsau

Most of the people who visit this blog already know me so it is kind of pointless to try to describe my life in this short little blurb. What is the purpose of this blog is the question. Over the course of this last year I have been exposed to some amazing people and have made personal development an important focus of my life. Being successful, not by the world's standards, but by God's has become my main focus. Mainly, I want to work to develop myself as a person who is kinder, reaches out to help those in need, and truly makes a difference in this world. To this end I am constantly reading and am exposed to so many differnet things along the way. These have been amazing and it is helping me grow so much. Then I started to think, "Why am I being so selfish?" You need to share with others these amazing things you are learning and being exposed to. That is where this blog comes into play. As I am reading and experiencing things that are truly amazing and life changing, I will be posting them on this blog. Obviously, I will not be able to post everything in it's entirity, but I will be summarizing them and letting you know the source of the article or book they come from so you can check them out later if you wish. I want this blog to be a place where you can go to often and be inspired and leave here with a smile on your face. I will be covering all kinds of different topics dealing with success and personal development. Topics like taking action, relationships, living to your potential, reinventing yourself, finances, leadership, presenting, goal setting, time management, etc. I will also be occasionally including topics on cooking, music, and gardening because they are special interests of mine. As a little disclaimer, I have given my life to the Lord and he is #1 in my life. I am his servant and everything I do in life is for his glory. With that being said, religion influences all areas of my life. There will be references to God in this blog because I can't seperate God from this or any other area of my life. I want you to know that if you do not believe in God, that is fine. That is your choice. This blog is open to anyone who wants to better their life. I will not be trying to influence or pressure anyone into having a relationship with the Lord from this site. Please don't feel uncomfortable. You can just read the portions of the blog that you wish to. I am inviting you to go on a journey with me. We will learn together to be the kind of people we were designed to be. Anyone can make a difference in this world, but it starts%
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