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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

Drowning Out the Noise

Our world seems to be getting louder and louder as people obsess about issues, they feel are the most important. The passionate way they voice their concerns is intense.

Ironically, it is this same passion that makes it difficult for others to empathize with their plight.

The volume they are using makes it impossible to hear and develop a rational perspective. This causes a tremendous amount of angst for many as they struggle to understand the anger and animus that has become a part of our everyday life.

What can we do about it? How can we turn down the volume? I believe we must start by “drowning out the noise”.

We do this by focusing our minds on the issues we are facing, not on the ones we are being told are the most important. It sounds a bit selfish and self-centered when I say it, but I really believe this is the only way we can deal with the concerns we are facing personally.

Do I mean the problems others face are not as important as my own? Absolutely not. I simply mean I am not sure the problems being pushed forward by the boisterous nature we hear are the problems we should be most concerned about.

The fact is, the real-life everyday situations we face are where our problems lie, and they are most definitely not the same for everyone.

By “drowning out the noise”, I hope to develop a better sense of what is actually going on in my community among the people I work with, attend church with and relate to on a daily basis.

If this is wrong, I am afraid I do not understand why.

You see, our lives are our own and each of us has a unique perspective on that life. Our perspective can cloud our vision and make it difficult to see another’s point of view, but it does not make it impossible.

Perhaps if we all spent less time trying to force others to understand what is important to us, we would be able to find common ground. I am certain it is going to be difficult to change the current narrative from one where everyone is against us to one where everyone is striving to do the best they can. But I do believe it is possible.

One thing I am sure of is the louder someone is talking the less people are listening. This is true because most of us do not respond well to being shouted at.

“Drowning out the noise” starts with listening intently to the ones who are not shouting at us. We do this by removing ourselves from the media driven hysteria and focusing on those around us.

When we do, we may find there is not nearly as much noise as there seems to be and those we perceive as being the noise makers are not interested in what is being shouted at them either.

The truth is the world has problems. This is because the world has people. We will always disagree, but we do not always have to be disagreeable.

Finding common ground starts with “drowning out the noise”. Then I believe, we will agree on a whole lot more than we thought we did. The only way to do this is to stop shouting and start listening to one another.

Will this ever happen? I am not sure. However, I do know if we do not start “drowning out the noise”, we will never be able to hear each other at all!

Isaiah 59:11, “All of us growl like bears, and moan sadly like doves; We hope for justice, but there is none, for salvation, but it is far from us.

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