Friday, June 11, 2010

Talking to Ourselves

Not long ago, I read a column on www.miceage.com in which Kevin Yee speculated that if Walt Disney had been playing with an iPhone instead of watching his daughter on a small merry-go-round, Disneyland might not have been created. Busy texting or playing a game, Disney’s mind would not have been free to imagine a place where he could go on rides with his child.

Every post in this blog has been about outward communication. Yee’s column asked me to consider the conversations we have with ourselves and the movies that play in our mind. We label it imagination or, when we are feeling uncharitable, we call it daydreaming, inattentiveness, or even ADD. We worry if we talk to ourselves, even if it is silently. Are we going crazy?

How tragic that we feel we have to be busy all the time. Why are we afraid to let our minds wander? What’s wrong with sitting on a park bench and imagining that things can be different? What would our world would be like if DaVinci had not stared at cracks in the wall, if Einstein hadn’t stared out the window or Disney had not sat on a park bench? What if they all had been busy playing Tetris on an iPhone instead of turning their minds loose?

We claim to support “thinking outside the box.” That can only happen if we give ourselves a chance to do it. We must communicate internally, turn thoughts over, and reap the rewards of the creative energy we all posses. It’s OK to be doing “nothing.” It’s even OK to talk to yourself – just don’t let your lips move.

I cannot imagine the losses our society suffers because we are so busy doing that we no longer do nothing.

I am so thankful that Walt Disney did not have an iPhone.