Every culture needs a protected space where the usual rules don’t apply. Once upon a time, corporations were forbidden from advertising in schools, politics was kept out of churches, people could have deep conversations at lunch that were uninterruptible by ringing, pinging cell phones. There were understandings that comments about penis size were not appropriate in a presidential debate, that marketing was limited to certain pre-designated places and times, that overtly gerrymandering congressional districts in favor of your party was not okay. Privacy used to be valued before cell phones paparazzied every moment, any time, anywhere, with anyone.
Hopefully, there are such places left. I haven’t been to a Zen meditation retreat for awhile, but I imagine phones are checked at the door. My music room and music classes at school remain a trustworthy place where short of emergencies and the fire alarm, the activities set in motion are uninterruptible. And Orff workshops likewise have been such a space, but more and more I’m seeing people sitting off to the side with phones in hand. Not okay.
It’s time to create, maintain and protect sacred space. The places that are not interruptible, not marketable or for sale, not open fodder for adolescent humor, not reducible to an ap, the places where things matter and where the constant assault of that which doesn’t matter so much can’t penetrate. If we are to build walls, those are the kind we need.