What Happens When You Turn The Sound Off!


Yesterday I was the first person into the dealership waiting area. I took the liberty of muting the TV so I wouldn’t have to listen to the constant stream of stupidity.

Soon a lady came in and sat down. I invited her to unmute the TV if she wanted. She declined saying that she didn’t watch much TV and didn’t like it.

A conversation ensued. Two strangers talking to each other! It was quite nice!

Then an older gentleman came in. He listened to us a bit, then joined in and soon dominated the conversation. (in a nice way) He related all kinds of stories from his youth and past. Cool.

The fourth person that came in sat closest to the TV and since the three of us were talking probably felt a little isolated. I thought about offering the remote to him but decided to just wait and see what happened.

At one point the older gentleman turned to the “new” guy and engaged with him. From that point on the fourth man was one of us.

I stepped out to make a phone call and check on the status of my truck and when I came back the older gentleman had gone. The other two were chatting away, the TV still silently playing it’s silly political “news”.

I sat back down and when my ride showed up I thanked my new acquaintances for our time together, for being willing to engage with another human being without being distracted by screens!

They expressed appreciation as well and I walked out of a car dealership waiting area feeling better than I’ve ever felt – and the “two hour” repair that turned into all day didn’t really bother me.

Which brings all kinds of thoughts to mind.

You see, I believe that the one thing we all crave most of all is connection. Connection with other human beings and that on a deeper level – at least that’s true for me. And probably you too or you would’ve stopped reading by now!

One of the things we talked about in that waiting area was the focus we tend to develop on all the stuff that’s going on as reported by the TV. And as we focus on that, we fail to connect with those around us.

So while we long for connection, we allow ourselves to become distracted by “larger” concerns, political movements, etc. and yet those entanglements offer us nothing in terms of real connection. They consume our time and energy and leave us feeling more disconnected.

There’s just no substitute for connection to another human being because in those connections we discover ourselves.

Now suppose I had sat there and listened to the “news” the whole time while occasionally staring at my phone, while wondering when the heck my truck would be ready? I know myself well enough to know that the time would have dragged by and I’d have become quite frustrated that my truck wasn’t ready until 4:30PM.

Instead I spent the entire day reveling in the glow of connection with three complete strangers who amazingly enough share some opinions fairly close to mine! Wow!

So…. The next time I have to schedule an appointment that will likely incur some waiting, I want to be the first one there in the morning. Then I’m going to mute the TV and see what happens!

I can hardly wait!

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