Noise cancellation

Embracing the sound of the present moment

Words by Omar KH

"... Sir! This is the last stop. Are you here, Sir?"

Yes, I missed my stop again. And no, I wasn't sleeping on the bus. In fact, my eyes were wide open. My ears, however, were muffled by the latest, most sophisticated wireless earphone technology: Noise cancellation.

I'd been wearing my earphones for 5 hours straight (thanks to the improved battery life). I lived inside my bubble for most of the day, surrounded by my favorite electronic beats and autotuned lullabies.

I didn't want to hear anyone or speak to anyone. I just wanted the next song on my playlist. Then, I remembered one more detail. Almost everyone on that bus was the same as me.

Earphones on.
World off.

How do we expect to live in the moment, or to form any meaningful connection, if our mind's front doors are closed?

Don't get me wrong, though. I've got nothing against earphones. They're great tools for focusing on the task at hand or communicating on the go. But if we wear them all the time, even with our closest friends, then what message are we communicating?

It's a shame that most people don't have Beyonce's vocals. And that birds don't chirp in perfect electronic rhythm. But if we free ourselves from the boundaries of a playlist, we can hear better stories than songs will ever tell.

From now on, I'm keeping my earphones inside their pocket.

I'm learning to enjoy the noise, with no cancellation.

Omar KH

Omar is a full-time content writer and a frugal minimalist. He aims to spread the values of simple living to more areas of the Eastern hemisphere. Aside from writing, he enjoys photography, cooking, and discussing philosophical views.


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A collection of 50 short and relatable essays on simple living by a small team of writers from different backgrounds, but who all share a deep appreciation for minimalism as a way of life. This book covers many topics such as slow and quiet living, meditative practices, curation, consumerism, and family. It is not a strict guide book or a rule book. Rather, it is a book we hope will inspire, motivate, and encourage you to take a slow and simplified approach to life.

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