Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Finding the Balance

This article Surrounded by Lonliness challenged my thinking today. Read the whole thing but here's the part that grabbed my attention,
I want to highlight two problems with our culture. The first is that we have little real communal interaction. The second is that we have little quality isolation. A good life needs a healthy balance of communion and isolation. When these are not in balance, both community and inner life suffers. We have replaced true community with virtual interaction, and true isolation with distraction. What we need is a revival of both true community and true isolation.
Let's be real, the virtual world is not always real. I've seen the term "community" springing up around the net lately.

But are they true communities? What are the characteristics that make community real. Can an online community be a "real"? Should it replace "real community"? In a globalized world is physical community still important? I'm not disregarding the valuable input I receive and hopefully give online. But I want to make sure that my online involvement doesn't jeopardize my "real life" involvement. {Hugs} will never replace the warmth of two arms holding someone who is hurting.

We also live in an "electronic isolation". We may be physically alone but not isolated.

What is true isolation? This is a tough one for me. I'm a people person. I love public speaking and engaging conversation. However, it is in the times of quiet that I am far less comfortable. I squirm at silence and will often reach for something, anything to speak to me. Even without my help, our culture seems to be drowning the silence in a sea of voices. Cell phones, TV, radios, iPods, and MP3's are all shouting into our ears, minds, and heart - listen to me. Yet it is in the stillness that God says, "listen, and know that I am God."

Where is the balance? How do you turn off without tuning out? I'm not sure, but I want to find out.

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