Healthy Investing=Wealth #11: Death of Stillness

by | Jul 24, 2003 | Archives

The last nine messages have reviewed how to find opportunity in the wellness industry. The U.S. equity market is in a 15 year downward cycle. When this cycle turns upwards again the big winners will be technologies and businesses that form the next economic wave. I believe that wellness will form a major part of that wave. One foundation in this belief if because each revolution affects time. The message below reviews an article entitled “THE DEATH OF STILLNESS – THE PRICE WE PAY FOR LOSING OUR PRIVATE PEACE” written by Richard Mahler. The article begins:

"Whatever the question, 'busy' is the answer. How are you? 'Busy.' How's 

work? 'Busy.' How's the family? 'Busy.'

"We hear it again and again, all day long. But you

can't fool me. 'Busy' is more than a buzzword. It's shorthand for, 'My

schedule is a nightmare, my phone won't stop ringing, and my e-mail box is

overflowing. I have a mile-long list of obligations to my spouse, boss,

kids, friends, pets, car, and houseplants. I'm so swamped that I can't

afford to give you more than a one-word


"What's wrong with being busy? Plenty.

"Americans have become the most anxious, time-stressed people in the world,

thanks in part to all the high-tech devices at our fingertips that are

meant to make life easier. The white noise of trivia and the thrill of

consumption fill our heads and guide our behaviors."

The point Mahler makes here is so true. We have so many time saving devices that we use so much that we have no time left to live. This is creating stress and huge health issues throughout the Western world. The majority have become fat, overworked, tense and in terrible shape. Humanityís experiment called the industrial revolution has failed. As we accept this fact there will be a huge return to nature, wellness and quest for more time to relax.

Where will we invest ourselves? Mahler has an idea when he writes:

"What's missing? The three things many of us long

for: silence, stillness, and solitude. The mechanical clamor of the

Industrial Revolution and the electronic beep of the Information Age have

obliterated the soothing quiet that once embraced us. Unnatural sound has

invaded virtually all of our public spaces, including otherwise pristine

national parks. In 1998, wilderness sound

recordist Gordon Hempton toured 15 states and found only two areas-remote

parts of Colorado and Minnesota-that were free of sounds made by motors,

airplanes, guns, and other human-operated devices for more than 15 minutes

during daylight hours.

"Lost from our daily routine is time alone to simply abide peacefully with

ourselves. Yet this is where we often touch the fullness of our

possibilities, waking up to the cause and effect of our lives. Indeed,

moments of solitude allow us to consider the meaning of life itself."

These thoughts by Mahler may explain why sanctuaries are one of the fastest growing segments of the travel industry and health spa business is growing by leaps and bounds.

He says:

"Silence is accessible to each of us and costs nothing. Stillness is as 

soothing as a bubble bath, as illuminating as a bright idea, and as

thrilling as a new romance. Solitude allows us, as 19th-century writer

Henry David Thoreau observed at Walden Pond, to 'be completely true to

ourselves.' The ability to mold a healthful and

life-affirming environment remains within our grasp, even though human-made

sound and activity continue to encroach on public and private space. And as

we continue filling the world with distractions, often unbidden, we will

keep craving the serenity that inevitably shrinks with their arrival."

But silence DOES have a cost and businesses that provide time, silence, stillness, serenity, happiness, joy, fulfillment, calm and peace will be leaders in the era ahead. This is why I urge all of you to look for how humanity expresses this need for in this desire lays the seeds of the next stock market boom and wealth.

I see this confirmed again and again at our Blue Ridge farm which is filled with the sounds of silence, the birds, the cool mountain whispers and babbling creek. Delegates come to learn ideas on investing or business but often go away with far deeper insights about life.

Richard Mahler is a freelance writer in Santa Fe, NM. His book, “Stillness: Daily Gifts of Solitude” is about the steady loss of silence, solitude, and simplicity in modern life, and why overscheduled Americans need them back.

Until next message, may all your investing be healthy and bring you wealth.