In generations past, people usually started their days amidst the melodies of nature, but today we increasingly wake up to the cacophony of alarms and our phones buzzing with social media notifications begging to be read; and these noises persist in our spaces through the day right until bedtime. A moment of silence has now become a luxury.
Silence, which is now missing from most of our lives, can make us stronger and more productive if channelized right. If we could develop a practice of finding deliberate pauses of silence in this noise-filled world, we could become more calm and humble people.
Silence also helps to improve our ability to listen and grasp better when others are communicating with us. For example, if somebody wants to share their anguish with us, silence is golden, as we listen to them. Many around us need people in their lives who are simply good listeners. Or if somebody criticizes us with harsh words,it is better to silently listen. Our voice will not solve the problem, and who knows, we may be able to find some constructive criticism even within that harsh exterior.
Most crucially, these silences can become the spaces where we connect with our Creator, who not only designed us, but also assigns ultimate value and purpose to our lives. As Mother Teresa said, “We need to find God and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of Silence. See how nature grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence. We need silence to be able to touch souls.”
The importance of silence doesn’t mean that we should be silent all the time. But silence at the right time and in its proper season is wisdom, and better than any speech. So let’s not forget the sweetness of silence.