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The voices in my head are silent.  They have been silent for over six years.  There are other voices though, loud voices, clamoring to be heard.  The voices on Facebook, the voices on blogs, the voices on my Twitter feed.  How can we decipher what is important, what warrants our attention, and what should be passed by, or ignored?

I have a test for the noise of this world.

Is it educational?  In other words, will I learn something from it that will add to my life?  If yes, I stop, slow down, listen (read) and take it in.

Is it inspirational?  Does it share with me a story about someone who has managed to beat all the odds?  Does it share a story of someone giving selflessly of themselves to others?  Will it encourage me to be a better human being, and make my heart sing a little bit, possibly bring tears to my eyes?  If yes, then I need to pay attention.  A gift to the heart is always a welcome present.

Is it something that needs some action on my part?  Did a friend post on Facebook that they are having surgery, or tests for cancer?  Did a friend get a promotion, or have a successful interview? If yes, there is always time to wish a friend well and offer some love, comfort and support.

Is it gossip?  In other words, is it about how ugly (or pretty) someone’s dress was, or that they got a facelift?  Is it about how this celebrity is cheating on that celebrity?  If so, I can pass.  I don’t need to know information that fills tabloids.  I don’t have the time or energy to take away from the voices that actually need to be heard.

Will it make me feel bad?  Is it an article about how I should lose fifteen pounds, purchase make-up to cover the bags under my eyes, exercise more, eat less, and basically follow someone else’s advice for making me more beautiful?  I pass this stuff by.  I don’t need negative messages about my body or my lifestyle.

Is it meaningless?  Is it a picture of an acquaintance’s dinner last night?   It is a picture of someone who takes a selfie everywhere they go?  In order to turn down the noise a little, I pass on these too.

We have so much technology, so many ways to connect and reach out to each other, that in order for those possibilities to add meaning to our lives, we need to make choices. If we don’t make choices we can easily become overwhelmed.  All the information that comes at us in a day can be like voices screaming.  I don’t like to hear screaming voices, so I choose to hear the voices that speak softly, and that at times whisper.  I want the voices I hear to add to my life, not make it loud, ugly or stressful.

Sing to me softly, I’m listening.