Note: Over the next few weeks, The SuperOptimist will be providing a series of experiments one can conduct on themselves at home. They are designed for the curious, the seekers of experience, and those who wish to pass the time in novel and thought-provoking ways.
A great way to escape the constant onslaught of news and information, especially in times of crisis, is by turning away from media altogether. But as human beings, we like to be kept company by voices other than the ones inside our heads.
That’s why the SuperOptimist recommends listening to the latest programming in a foreign language that you can’t comprehend. * When you remove the brain’s desire to process and understand each word, you can relax and appreciate the sounds on their own. In another world, these sounds could be coming from aliens. In the spirit world, they could be shamans speaking in tongues. It’s akin to experimental music, or abstract painting.
Let your imagination conjure its own story about what these French folks are talking about. Being stuck in an elevator? Champions League Football? Cooking pastry?
To pick up the signal, we recommend a nice shortwave radio; one that also doubles as an emergency transponder should the need arise. Hand-cranked and solar powered, it never needs batteries or electricity and can receive signals from as far away as Siberia.
As you begin your new listening experience, here’s a station to get you started. Should you prefer a different language, you’ll find plenty in Spanish, along with Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Polish — even Creole.
*It’s conceivable that after listening for a month or two, you may pick up enough meaning in the words to consider yourself bilingual.