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mental discipline

"Still" in America

Americans are not big on the idea of being still.

Even when our bodies aren’t moving, our minds are under continual assault from increasingly unavoidable media. There are televisions in our minivans, and in our fast-food restaurants, too, so we can hear the day’s headlines while connecting to free WiFi, gorging on a half-pound hamburger and quadruple-thick milkshake. The image on the TV screen is crowded out by the station logo in the top right, the perpetual crawl across the bottom, and pop-up ads reminding us what show is coming up next, and later, and after that.

Perhaps because so much food and entertainment and stimulation are offered to us each day, we come to expect their steady supply as a right and entitlement. We check emails on vacation, use cell phones while we drive to the mall, and bring our music wherever we go (on a device that has more computer memory than existed worldwide just a few decades ago).

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