Is Silence Golden?

Silence is golden, or so the old song says. But how comfortable are we with silence in our modern, noisy cultures? Young folk in particular seem to be noise seekers, headphones permanently glued to their ears, or emitting a thunderous, thumping beat as they drive down the road with windows wide, as if they’re trying to include the whole world in their music. Then there is the incessant background chatter of radio and television, the distant rumble of traffic on the main road, or the scream of machinery so intense that it demands the use of ear defenders. Nature too has its culprits – there are two raucous crows outside my window at the moment shouting abuse at each other!
Silence – an absence of noise, can be unnerving, as if we’re expecting something to happen but not quite sure what; or it can be isolating, making us feel very alone. However, it can be also be inclusive, as we join together in respect on Remembrance Day, or in memory of 9/11 or 7/7, or some other tragedy.
Noise can be a distraction, blotting out sadness and pain, but silence helps me think, clear my mind and see where I’m at; it enables me to listen to God, and to hear that despite my hang-ups and difficulties, actually I’m doing ok.

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