Sunday, August 14, 2016

All the Noise

I often feel like the Grinch in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (the real one, not the remake with people and Jim Carey) when he says he can’t stand “All the noise, noise, noise, noise”.  Why are people so noisy? Why is life so noisy?

Recently my husband and I went to shop for a major purchase, we entered a store and were immediately approached by a salesperson. I expected this, however I did not expect the disrespectful nature in which this salesperson treated us.

We told the salesperson that we were not ready to purchase, we just wanted to look and see what our options are so we can plan for the purchase. The salesperson started to talk to us about the options we had.

And did not stop talking for the next hour.

I’m not even joking. Even when it got to the point that I was over-exaggerating looking at my watch, mentioned that we needed to get my husband to work (we really did), and both of us stopped making eye contact and stared at the door. I was about 10 seconds away from just walking out with the salesperson still yakking away at us. That or just yelling “Would you. Just. Shut. Up.”

During the entire interaction my husband and I did not have enough time to ourselves to discuss which options were actually within our budget. What brand we felt was the best deal. Or even if the timeline we had in mind was reasonable now that we knew prices. When we finally escaped, the first thing I said to my husband was:
                “We are not buying from them. Ever.”

Contrast that with the next store we went in to. The salesperson again approached us a few seconds after we entered. They asked us the same types of questions, and pointed us in the right direction. There were plenty of pauses in the conversation for us to process what information was being presented to us. And, most importantly, the salesperson physically walked away every few moments so we had time to discuss options with each other. At one point they said, “I’m going to leave you here for about 5 minutes to talk things over together. And then I’ll check back in with you.”

And they did.

There is a life lesson here, I can’t help but point out. It’s an issue I run into quite a bit in my life. Having quiet time is essential for people to ponder, process, and learn things. You need time to think, and in order to think clearly, you NEED those moments of silence, isolation, and calm.

I recently realized something about a place that we visit . Every time we visit this place, I end up feeling tired and horrifically grumpy. And it’s not just because I’m tired or not getting balanced meals. It’s because this place is never quiet. The people there do not talk to each other, they yell. (This is a volume issue, not an anger issue.)Of course perhaps they are always loud because the tv is constantly on. Once I was up at 2 am, and lo and behold, no one else in the place was awake, yet the tv was still on. It is literally never quiet there.

And without quiet I can’t think. I can’t recharge. And honestly, it really affects whether I can be in a good mood or not.

My family used to joke that you shouldn’t talk to me before 10 a.m., but it was one of those funny because it’s true jokes. I need silence in the morning. Don’t turn on the tv. Don’t talk too loudly to me, and don’t talk a whole lot either. Let me have my quiet. 

This is important to me so I have a chance to read my scriptures, have a few moments to gather myself, and take the time I need to pray.  And when I don’t get that silence, I don’t get that routine, I don’t get the Spirit, and I don’t have a chance at being in a good mood.

Part of my quiet morning routine is listening to a General Conference talk on my way to work, or as I’m getting ready for the day. Recently I heard this in a talk by Joseph B. Wirthlin, in combination with the salesperson incident, I knew it was time to write and publish this post.

“We should lower the noise level in our homes so that the noise of the world will not overpower the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost. One of our greatest goals as parents should be to enjoy the power and influence of the Holy Ghost in our homes.”  Elder Joseph B Wirthlin, “The Unspeakable Gift”, April 2003

For me this isn’t just some nice advice. It’s something that I’ve lived without even realizing it. I need to quiet the noise of the world in order to feel good about things. That quiet allows me to learn and grow. It allows me to plan and prepare. It allows me to become what I am meant to become and accomplish what I must accomplish. It allows me to be happy.

And, as I learned, most importantly, it allows you time to actually have the influence of the Holy Ghost in your life and home. That place we stay? I actually said to my husband last time we were there that I hate it because I can’t feel the Spirit there. It’s too noisy, and the people there are too preoccupied with worldly things to allow the Spirit in. I don’t feel welcome, and I can’t be comfortable without the ability to feel the Spirit.

So PLEASE: Stop talking. Turn off the tv. Shut down the computer, phone, and music.  And allow yourself and those around you some nice, quiet, time to think. 

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