I’ve been thinking about silence.
And…I’ve been thinking about how frequently I am denied silence. I spend a fair amount of time in airports and, except for Asia, most airports are pretty noisy places. I still remember with a smile when it was time to board a plane in Hong Kong for a return to the United States and the boarding “announcement” was a beautifully-dressed woman walking over to the waiting area and silently gesturing to us that we may board. Aaahhh!
The EPS estimates that 30 million Americans suffer from environment-related deafness. Thirty million! We’re talking about vehicle noises, equipment noises, even animal noises…all rising to a cacophony that is not only bothersome, but (see above) can be truly detrimental to our health.
I worked for many years for a company that managed radio and TV stations. I was fascinated at one of the big-city radio stations when I discovered that right in the middle of the office space was a “quiet room.” There were no windows and the walls were literally padded. No talking was allowed once you entered. The general manager explained to me that he believed creative people needed a place to “get away” sometimes during the work day and as far as he could tell, this room filled the bill.
I have read about best-selling authors who somehow can write their books with rock music blaring in their headphones. I have personal friends who say they can’t stand to work in silence. I guess it’s an individual thing, but I wonder: might you set aside some place in your workplace where people could put down the cell phones, unplug the ear buds, curtail the constant banter and just enjoy the silence?
George Bernard Shaw said, “Choose silence of all virtues.”
Funny, isn’t it? I make a good part of my living by speaking, but I know in my heart that silence is magical and something we all need to have more of in our lives.