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Magic Choral Trick #221 Staying Conscious

Who is teaching our children about staying conscious?

In this time of the ubiquitous and seductive video screens that act as babysitters and entertainers, it may be only the choir or band directors, the drama and dance instructors and the sports coaches that are teaching our kids how to be truly present in the physical world.

Common to all these activities is the necessity for thoughtful, well rehearsed action right now, right now, right now. These activities cannot be done well without staying conscious, because they demand many different physical, mental and emotional skills to be brought to each separate moment. And when guided well in these activities, they’re more addictive than any video game. There’s joy, there’s heart and there’s such a physical and emotional richness in the experience, that through them we feel more intensely human and alive.

I was ranting to a friend about corruption in our political system and in our society, and he pointed out that whether by design or not, we’ve become a mentally anaesthetized culture. We’ve fallen in love with shallow, complacent thinking – and we believe every sound bite that we’re fed. We’ve fallen asleep, or been seduced by the shiny and the easy.

So it seems to me that we need the performing arts and sports more now than ever before – in order to wake up. And our kids, who are increasingly opting to live so much of their lives in the virtual world, need this most of all.

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