Empty Your Mind

I read fourteen newspapers every day I proudly told my mentor. Readying myself for praise, I was surprised when instead he said: "Why?" Why? What do you mean why? Because it's there and knowing what is going on in the world is so important, I replied. I don't know about you, but in the world that I grew up in, the measure of your intelligence was your ability to quote facts, figures and your general knowledge. Don't you know the capital of Peru? Really? This incessant demand on your mind to keep up now transcends all barriers. No longer sufficient to say Lima; you must know that a landslide swept three people into a gorge three minutes ago in Lima. Stay with the program!

It was not always so. Television only became popular globally in the 90's. The internet in the 2000's. Prior, it was books and your daily newspaper or the Encyclopedia Brittanica. We had one in our house. Today, the volume of information from phones, tablets, apps, games, the Internet, television et al. is staggering.

Don't get me wrong. I have no quarrel with knowledge or learning. Instead, consider the considerable benefit of an empty mind. One that is laser focused on a few things or perhaps even on nothing at all. An Empty Mind. A mind that is still. A mind that is present in your now. A mind not so overwhelmed with information that it is straining to differentiate the important from the not.  For almost 99.99% of the existence of humanity, we did not treat our brain this way. What makes you think you can cope?

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