The idea for this post hit me during this summer. I was walking alone to synagogue one Shabbos and I realized I was able to think with a clarity I hadn’t experienced in quite a while. Generally, I am always connected to other people in some way or fashion and so the thoughts I have and the inner discussions are constantly distracted. The modern world, with all its benefits, has the problem of creating an environment where distractions are the norm. Never are we unhooked from social contact with friends. However, though we be social animals, we need time to ourselves to sit down and set our priorities right.
In a presentation for TED, which I truly recommend you watch, Susan Cain gives a presentation on introverts and how important they are in a society where extroverts are held as the gold standard. Most importantly, the introvert’s ability to go off alone and just THINK allows great new thought to come alive.
Using this thought, we can look to truly better ourselves. I’m not talking of the resolutions of the type that are stereotypical of January first. You know what I mean. The shallow resolutions to lose 10 pounds, make more money, and to spend more time with family while admirable are hardly resolution worthy.
Instead we should unplug. Nothing drastic. But one weekend in the coming two weeks I’m proposing we turn off all electronics. Go back to the age of the caveman and think about your life, your wants, your hopes, and your regrets. Then create your new year’s resolution the old fashioned way: with only pen, paper and your thoughts as tools.
Then let us go forward into the year with real goals of self improvement.
May this year be full of blessings for us all!
Lshanah Tova Tikaseiv!