Silence and Peace

From Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.”

In this noise-filled world, where silence has become the exception, it is easy to forget “what peace there may be in silence.”  Rather than inducing peace, silence more commonly induces unease and anxiousness.  If you doubt this, stop speaking (a challenge for some of us) for three, four, five seconds in the middle of a speech, a presentation, even a conversation, turn off that television or radio or (this is getting personal) stop that incessant humming and see how quickly the anxiousness floods the void.  Silence is so powerful, so attention drawing that it has become a powerful tool to get listeners to pay attention, to refocus on the things being said.  That is to say, they’d rather listen to you drone on about your PowerPointed issues than face the silence.

Still, all that notwithstanding, there can be peace in silence – if we let there be. But first, we have to “remember what peace there can be in silence.”

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