DAILY HABIT 3

ONE HOUR WITH PHONE OFF

The Habit at a Glance:

We were made for presence, but so often our phones are the cause of our absence. To be two places at a time is to be no place at all. Turning off our phone for an hour a day is a way to turn our gaze up to each other, whether that be children, coworkers, friends, or neighbors. Our habits of attention are habits of love. To resist absence is to love neighbor.

THE SMARTPHONE IS A TOOL THAT ENABLES MANY THINGS, BUT IT WILL NEVER MULTIPLY OUR PRESENCE

An Excerpt From The Common Rule: 

Silence begins as a personal practice, but it always ends as a public virtue. Just think of social media. It exists in the form we know

it because we don’t know who we are before coming to it. When

we can’t answer the question of who we are in silence, we can’t

answer it in public either, and our insecurities spill out into the

world in the form of manipulations. We hide our confusion

behind a posture of perpetual offense. If we are opposed to

someone or something, that’s enough to create our identity for the day, which is to say we use others so that we can get the temporary identity we need. We don’t know who we are, so we make others feel the pain of our insecurity.

Only when we know who we are can we turn to love others, not use others. Only then can we actually listen to them. As Kyle David Bennett writes in his book on how the spiritual disciplines are for the love of the world, “How can we love our neighbor if we never allow her to reveal herself because we are always chattering?”

Reading and Resources:

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© 2017 by Justin Whitmel Earley

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