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So Much Noise
According to my email this morning, I have won the European lottery (6,700,000 euros); I am the sole heir of a man who died last year in Sussex, U.K., and they want to give me millions of pounds; and someone from Sri Lanka has millions in a bank account they want to split with me. I am a lucky person indeed.

Last night I was sitting in a wonderful Vietnamese restaurant waiting for our take-out order with nothing to do but read the Sports section of a newspaper. It was all Tiger, all girlfriends, all the time. To tell you the truth, I really don't care. I don't.

Today, on the news, there's talk of health care, and scandals, and debt.

There is so much noise. So much noise that brings us down and overwhelms us, until we almost become immune to it. But we don't completely become immune, because I don't think we know how to live without the noise anymore.

We had our nephew over for dinner last week. He's an only child to divorced parents (just like I was), and we like including him in things, especially since he's the same age as my oldest. He had a great time. We ate a good meal, which lasted about half an hour because we were talking and joking the whole time. Then we read a particularly gross part of the Bible (we're reading through Judges with the kids after dinner, so since we had a 14-year-old boy as a guest we decided to read about Ehud, who plunged the sword into the fat king Eglon and "he was so fat the his fat closed around the sword." ). Then we played a game, and everyone helped clean up. It was a riot.

But it was also "quiet". There was no talk of movies, or Tiger, or scandals, or contention. It was just sharing relationship.

I find so often that when you get together with people it isn't much better than the noise we hear on the internet. We all talk about all the same stuff. We discuss Tiger, or we discuss movies or TV shows, or the latest diet craze, or video games. We talk about all the noise. Why don't we just talk about REAL things, like relationships, or life, or jobs, or school, or fun?

I was at another family event recently where the conversation did revolve around noise-items. I came away not really feeling like I knew anyone better, except for one sister-in-law that I always get along with and always talk to. I guess noise-subjects are safe, because few fights break out over them, unlike, say, politics or religion or something. But they're also impersonal. It's as if a wall has been built around so many people's hearts, and you can't ever get any deeper.

My kids see it, too. Sometimes they meet new kids that they just can't talk to, because they only things they want to talk about our pop culture. Katie will say to me, "I tried to change the subject, and asked about her siblings, or school, or her dreams, or whatever, but I really don't think she thinks about anything other than movies."

And undoubtedly, for many people, that's true. There is just too much noise.

I find sometimes that when I'm one on one with people I can break through it and talk about something meaningful, but in a group it's just so hard. And then I wonder why I'm there at all.

I suppose I'm just cynical after too many Christmas outings that seem to have little to do with Christmas, but do you ever feel that way? And do you have a solution?

As for me, I'm simply going to keep inviting my nephew over for dinner more. We had a great time, he had a great time, and there was no noise. Sounds good to me.

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum



At 9:37 AM , Blogger Shaun and Holly said…

I totally get what you are saying. That is why I usually dread parties. "Small talk" (or noise) leaves me feeling tired afterward and often I feel slightly depressed! I really don't enjoy talking about TV, movies, clothes, hair, etc, etc, etc. I am learning that it is ok to have some relationships that are almost superficial (to me) in some ways but I NEED relationship that are genuine, deep, honest and real. It has made me really appreciate when others can connect on this level cause for sure...not everyone can.

I found it very interesting that your daughter has noticed this too in her peers. Do you think we (society) put up walls and hold people at arms length by staying on the "safe topics" and not talking about things that truly matter? Hmmm....lots to think about.

Love your Blog!



At 10:27 AM , Blogger Courtney said…

I couldn't agree more. Hubby and I have a hard time even making friends because we don't revolve our lives around the garbage of this society. It's sad. Like you, I want to have real conversations with people about things that actually matter. Great post. Thanks for sharing.


At 11:07 AM , Blogger Jen @ After The Alter said…

Hey! I win those lotterys every day too! :) lol anyway..thats why I refuse to watch the news. There is too much talk, too much sadness! How do you keep youlf happy if all you hear is sad?? Sometiems I really feel ignorance is bliss..even if I do sound dumb when people bring up pop culture I am much happier for it!


At 11:26 AM , Blogger Timmy Boyle said…

Great post...How 'bout those Blue Jays?


At 2:30 PM , Blogger Tonia said…

My Husband and I are in the same boat as Courtney's. We have few friends that we enjoy spending time with. I find however that there are a LOT of people that consider me a "friend" but I only really consider them "friendly". I get along with them and find them likable but since we never talk about anything meaningful I can't really consider them "friends". To be able to call them a friend means that we share something meaningful and not only that but we can talk about it.

I think that people are afraid to really have close friendships. They are afraid to let down there guard for fear of being laughed at, dispised, or used. It's a sad thing but I can see where they are coming from. So often the people that are supposed to be sharing love and support with are the ones that do the most damage. In this age when even parents so often abuse and use their kids it is very difficult to really open up to another.


At 7:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

Well....I do like to talk about a tv show I enjoy or a movie sometimes with friends or family. And I think a little pop culture knowledge doesn't hurt when talking with acquaintances and distance family members. I know what you mean, but I also feel that so few people are really interested in deep relationships these days.

Nurse Bee

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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