It’s 8:36 am and the only sound in our kitchen is the electronic tick of the clock. Tick-tocks came from pendulums, but they are no longer needed to power an electronic clock, but the sound is an assurance that the clock is running. That’s the only answer I can think of this morning. Other than that noise and the tinnitus in my ears the house is still. I’m writing these words on a MacBook Pro which is connected to the internet and someone somewhere today might read them. I’m connected but unconnected too in an increasingly connected world.

Yesterday a fellow educator wrote about the need for quiet and stillness and especially for his children and I could not agree more. There is a point of over stimulation. That’s part of why I don’t watch the news. I don’t want to be programmed to think a certain way. I’m not Republican nor am I a Democrat. I’m fiercely independent. You can’t put me in a box, I’m bigger than that. I refuse to be a yes/no dualistic thinker. Life is way more complex than that. I’m neither liberal nor conservative. I’m me and I’m created in the image and likeness of my creator and I think you are too. I used to have these words above my desk until I removed them last year, but the thought is still in my heart and it’s borrowed from one of the greatest men to ever live, Robert Holbrook Smith.

“Perpetual quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble. It is never to be fretted or vexed, irritable or sore; to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me.
“It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised, it is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and shut the door and pray to my Father in secret and be at peace, as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and about is seeming trouble. “

About Don Watkins

I'm a FOSS advocate, writer, educator, Python coder, Linux user, US Navy Veteran, Secular Franciscan, husband,father and grandfather. I blog about my life and experiences that give it meaning.
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3 Responses to Stillness

  1. Don,
    It is interesting. The idea of “stillness” was unintended when I wrote the email yesterday. I am going to turn that email into a blog post. I am basically going to just copy and paste it in. Your blog post, without total affirmation, lead me to believe that I am a bit on the right track with what I said in my email. Now, I believe that I am pretty forward thinking when it comes to technology and I believe that a teacher who does not use technology should probably change their ways. In 2003, 87% of all jobs used a computer. Teachers have a great ability to affect everything when it comes to a young person’s education. That power cannot be taken lightly. You made me feel like the ideas that I said in my email, although in my eyes a bit negative, are valid. Often when I offer a different point of view, I see myself as contrarian. Being a contrarian for contrary sake is not what I want. And I hope people who know me know that I am contrarian only when I feel necessary. Wifi on a bus, may be one of these instances.

    • Don says:


      You are on the right track and though I’m a totally connected person like yourself and an advocate for technology I’m also a bit of an eremitic. I like the quiet and it is from that quiet that I spring each day. That is why I have what seems like unbounded energy at times to some people. I think the pervasive wifi especially on the bus is unnecessary in part because we’re surrounded by cell transmissions and providing that wifi is probably redundant. You are not a contrarian at least in the typical sense. You are a prophet as am I and prophets are always trend setters and trend questioners just like they were in days of old. šŸ™‚

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