Brooks throws out a life raft to climb aboard when you are feeling isolated and low saying “Sometimes I feel like I’m in a daily struggle not to become a shallower version of myself.”
He continues to list the variables that contribute to shallowness, before beginning his paeon to the antidote: art.
“The first driver of shallowization is technology, the way it shrinks attention span, fills the day with tempting distractions.”
I add: “Shackles me to fixing myself in its eyes, spending an hour of my time, here and there throughout each day, reconciling passwords, re-aligning my own technological awareness and sophistication with the onrush of its advancements. Without my permission, it conducts
frequent new system updates that require me to learn how to re-do rote functions like how to silence my phone, for example.”
Brooks says, “The second driver is the politicization of everything.”
I add: “I refuse to do Trump’s public relations work for him by passing on his latest outrageous acts.” Please join me!
I offer another driver of shallowization, living in Florida every winter, the shallow random monotony of surfaces, a facility with small talk. I keep my eye and heart fixed on what matters.
Brooks concludes , “So in trying to take countermeasures, I flee to art.”
You know where he is heading to celebrate the healing powers of right brain stimulation. Read his column.
True we live in a world that valorizes the left brain (straight lines in books, on billboards, highways, strip malls, linear rational thought.). My deepest currents—the ones that feed and nourish me—are provoked by beingness, in a tree, the wind in the night sky, by great and smaller art and music, carrying the seeds of inspiration to my soils. Refreshing me so I have the strength to resist the shallowizations of daily life in our times.