Now that I live a little ways out of the city, my drives to and fro have provided me with hours of listening to music on the radio.
Even if people think radio is “old-school”, it’s a powerful form of communication. Any form of media is. Like food, or toxic fumes or ultra-violet rays, we should care about the things that we put in our bodies. And that goes for our minds as well. If we believe that “we are what we eat,” then I feel we are what we listen to; we are what we read; we are what we watch on TV.
If the things you’re listening to aren’t adding to your Joy, or educating you, or making you a more compassionate person, then my advice is cut it out of your life.
Harsh? This may mean getting rid of the cable. It may mean tossing the celebrity-filled magazines in the trash bin. It may mean paying more attention to the lyrics of the songs on your favorite running playlist, and deciding that there are some songs that need to be put to rest.
Like most habits, this one is going to be hard to break, too. You’ve been tuning in to the same radio station since you’ve started driving – but are the DJs talking about the latest gossip, diving into the celebrity scandals and laying down tracks that are full of cursing and crude lyrics? At some point, we may become numb to the vulgar words and the gossip becomes something to laugh about when we think, ‘At least my life isn’t as messed up as theirs!‘
But what type of person does that make us? What does that say about us when our “release” becomes judging others or listening to a guy sing about the time he laid that b**** down. It even made my stomach queasy to type that – why would I ever want to have that be the background music in my life?
The up side is that there is an abundance of amazing music out there! Switching the station when a crude song comes on isn’t a loss. In my opinion, you gain so much more when you choose to listen to something positive. You never know what words might hit you at just the right time – helping you see a conflict in a different way, putting a smile on your face when you drive to work in the morning, or inspire you to count the blessings in your life rather than dwell on the difficulties.
In case you’re in need of some tunes to start off your next mix, I’ve listed some of my new favorites. Happy listening!
“Keep your eyes open” – needtobreathe
“Ships in the Night” – Mat Mearney
“Remind me who I am” – Jason Gray
“Closer” – Shawn McDonald