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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4 comments… add one
  • Jeanie Brosius King Sep 8, 2016, 12:50 pm

    Thank you Robert, for sharing a decision to disengage from the “non-news” of the paid corporate controlled media. But I digress. This transcends whether a Pokemon cartoon or a political debate is airing (and they might be the same 🙂 – your decision to choose time with yourself and then three other people, conversing, listening, connecting, is very inspiring. As you pointed out, there are many benefits.
    1. You chose not to be bombarded by unwanted rhetoric
    2. You kindly offered to allow others to unmute the tv which is very polite
    3. You chose to speak with the various people sitting with you – even though it might appear there were no commonalities.
    4. Interestingly, you found many connections of thought, topics of interest and even core beliefs.
    5. And finally, you chose to cherish this experience enough that the all day repair just didn’t bother you all that much…and so you shared with us. Even though my husband and I don’t have cable tv (on purpose) I find at the nail salon, where one is constantly going, I am drawn to watch Ellen and her guests, Drew Carey or the ladies at The View. Why?? Because it’s there. Quite often, however, i do interact with the other ladies of all ages about other things just to have conversation and have yet to find anyone who doesn’t eagerly join in.

    Thank you!!

  • Robert Sep 8, 2016, 12:55 pm

    You’re welcome! I simply had to share the experience. Can’t wait to do it again. Seriously… Send me another recall would ya? LOL

    Thanks for your comment!



  • Sunita Sep 19, 2016, 6:41 am

    So glad to see a post from you!! I check in periodically to see what’s going on with your blog, as I really connect (hee!) with your perspective. It’s interesting that I had the same type of experience last Monday. Had an unanticipated tire repair and was told it would take an hour or so, but it was about three hours. The TV was on in the corner of the waiting area, but it was all game shows. While waiting, I began talking with an older lady who was waiting for her car – just really connecting and listening and seeing things from her point of view. She was a bit of a panic about the number of repairs that had to be done to her car. It was a Life-affirming conversation; we didn’t talk about anything particularly deep, but I really got a sense of that “oneness” with God through her. I felt that both of us were more calm afterward. I guess it was more “be right here, right now” at play, for her and for me.

  • Robert Sep 19, 2016, 7:44 am

    Hi Sunita,

    Thanks for checking in and sharing your story!

    Very cool!


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