Hearing From Ourselves

Hearing From Ourselves

Every era suffers from information and social media overload. While the form of distraction changes with the generations, the human tendency to drown out our inner voice with news and gossip remains.

In 1861, Henry David Thoreau wrote about the perils of the most prominent 19th century social network: the post office.

"In proportion as our inward life fails, we go more constantly and desperately to the post-office. You may depend on it, that the poor fellow who walks away with the greatest number of letters, proud of his extensive correspondence, has not heard from himself this long while."

Henry David Thoreau, Life Without Principle

For Thoreau, information overload was reading a weekly newspaper.

"I do not know but it is too much to read one newspaper a week. I have tried it recently, and for so long it seems to me that I have not dwelt in my native region. The sun, the clouds, the snow, the trees say not so much to me. You cannot serve two masters. It requires more than a day's devotion to know and to possess the wealth of a day."

Henry David Thoreau, Life Without Principle

Thoreau believed creatives need to feed their souls. To tap their creative depths, poets and artists must be immersed in life and nature, not waste their hours and days reading and conversing about trifles.

Paul Jarvis recently tweeted "the opposite of social media is meditation."

How long has it been since you heard from yourself?

-J.D. Stein | May 2014

Mt. Hood, Oregon

Webster Loop ‒ Idaho ‒ May 2014