Many of us spend much of our days in front of some glowing rectangle. When we wake, we grab one right away. We stare into it hoping to get a jump on whatever responsibilities and expectations were dumped on us overnight. We might then turn on another as we drink our morning coffee, hoping to get “caught up” on information that is mostly meant to distract and not inform. Most of us work all day in front of one, our tasks directed, next steps informed, and labor performed inside the glowing rectangle on our desk. Even those who work in fast food or retail are largely directed by a glowing rectangle telling them who ordered what and what is expected next. We kill time in lines and waiting rooms with the rectangles. We are entertained by them. We sometimes bring our rectangles into bed with us. Because, increasingly, our books are in there.

I’m no different. I grabbed my first rectangle very shortly after waking. I will likely stare into several throughout my day. For work and for pleasure and as a way to simply pass the time. Heck, my regular gas station has them built into the pumps now. My guess is that when one is distracted by the local weather or the two-for-one beef jerky special they tend to buy more gas. In fact, I’m staring into a glowing rectangle right now. Tapping away at the illuminated screen. Convincing myself that this is the best way to write about them. That, if wisdom is born of knowledge and experience then, right now, this rectangle is supplying both.

Yet, I’m going to present myself with a small challenge this week. One you may wish to take on yourself. It is a modest change but one that, hopefully, will lead me to see if if makes difference enough to expand. I’m going to avoid glowing rectangles as much as I can for one hour after I wake up and one hour before I go to bed. If I need to write or work or wish to read, I have plenty of non-glowing rectangles for that. And, if that is not enough, I have plenty of other non-glowing shapes that would benefit from my increased engagement. I know that my soul might benefit from staring into the dark circle that is my morning coffee for some quiet contemplation.

I’m going to see if this makes any positive difference for the week ahead. And, if it does, perhaps I’ll next try a bit more.