This I Believe

Benjamin - Virginia Beach, Virginia
Entered on November 29, 2006

There is so much going on around us every day that it’s hard to focus…hard to even put ideas together sometimes. So much of our time is filled with unwanted stimulation, a lot of which is forced on us by advertisers trying to get our attention from every angle. I feel like this over-stimulation, which we all face at some point, causes most of us to miss out on some of the good experiences and thoughts that we could be having every day. Our time is stolen by the distractions we live with.

For example: will I remember to call my friend about going to dinner if I’m driving my car, listening to the newest beer commercial on the radio? No, probably not.

Or will I envision the steps involved in creating the next great masterpiece if I’m fantasizing about the lottery jackpot I just saw on one of the forty foot-tall billboards beside the interstate? I seriously doubt it.

The only way to get away from the distractions around you is to isolate your self from the world; which is never an attractive option. The people who live with the distractions make the world work the way it does. They are the people who make the money to get what they want, and consequently make everyone else money getting what they want. Deny it all you want, that’s the truth. So for you to isolate yourself from society, from the distractions all around you, is to isolate your self from the things that you probably want in the first place. And to live with the distractions…the creature comforts…the advertising…the branding…the images and sounds…is to become a part of the machine that will get you what you want. What choice do you think people usually make?

Is it not easier to swim with the current than against it?

So will I remember to take my nephews to the movies next week if I’m watching TV with my girlfriend and she sees “discount tickets” for a Caribbean cruise that we “have to go on”…which also happens to be next week? Who knows?

It adds to a distraction if someone close to you falls victim. Then you not only have to deal with resisting the temptation yourself…whether it’s shiny lights, a toy on TV or a Caribbean cruise …but you have to battle an ally of the distraction as well!

So just think about all of the time you miss, whether it’s thinking time, family time or just personal time, because of the stimulation around you every day.

Think about how much those distractions take away from your life…get mad along with me…and close your eyes (not while you’re driving). Take back that time.

I believe that the world is full of distractions, but I also believe that we can choose whether or not we are affected by them.