Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2012 1:34:59 PM
The world of screens just keeps getting bigger. Literally. Walk into any electronics store, and you will be dwarfed by the rows of televisions, laptops, and tablets. Each one claims to be better than the last. This one has a 52 inch screen, but that one shows 3D movies. This one is HD, but that one has faster internet. Companies compete to give us the best entertainment possible, but I believe that if you truly want to get the clearest picture and experience the most, you simply have to step outside into nature.
When was the last time you listened to the surround sound of a thunderstorm rolling across the sky? Or paused to appreciate the crystal clear picture reflected in a raindrop? Or even watched a real angry bird dive down to defend its nest? I’m as guilty as most when it comes to spending too much time in front of a screen. After a busy day, the first thing I want to do is zone out in front of the television or surf the internet. But is it really relaxing to inundate our minds with more information, opinions, and mindless entertainment?
Just a few weeks ago, I was hunched over my desk with my head and eyelids weighed down with endless chemistry terms. After studying for hours, the stuffy air and pressure of exams were threatening to suffocate me. So I gathered my books and slipped out our back door into the bright afternoon sun. I cannot say that I got a lot of quality studying done outside, but something more important happened. My eyes drifted from pages of calculations to the branches of the leaves that slowly bobbed in the wind. Instead of rehearsing memorized lists of molecular formulas, I listened to the bubbly chirp of the birds as their shadows flitted across the grass, and gradually my churning mind settled and began to drift like the listless clouds in the sky.
I found that getting out and experiencing nature gives us clarity of mind that can never be achieved with electronic devices. Our life is consumed with competing priorities. Life screams at us: Get good grades! Find a job! Apply to college! The list goes on and on and constantly threatens to overwhelm us. However, nature gives us a totally different perspective. Each day the sun rises, the ants search for food, the petals of a flower open to the sun, and every creature quietly goes about its simple and purposeful life. The complexity of our lives is not bad, but sometimes we need nature to remind us to take a step back and simply appreciate being alive.
Nature has a simple and profound beauty that cannot be replicated, regardless of how big the screen is or how many pixels are used. The electronic devices of the day definitely have a useful place in our lives, but sometimes we need to turn off the power and experience real life in HD.