This weekend I learned that art of silence all over again. It became a necessary action because of the exceedingly horrendous noise that we are being bombarded with. What are these, you might ask? Or maybe you know them all too well because you, like me, are drowning in that same tidal wave of violent history by our own hands.
Our tragedies have lately all been related to a single weapon of destruction: Man. Whether it is with a gun, or weapons of mass destruction, or monetary enslavement, or whatever else is raining pain upon us all, we are becoming overwhelmed to the point of silence. That silence might be because we’re scared, overwhelmed, frustrated, or even that we have given up just a little. But that silence is telling, if you pay close attention to its placement.
Is it there to emphasize something important? Or maybe it wants us to think about what comes next? Whatever the reason, silence is just as important as words. They go together, as it does in most of what we create. They are that tell that people think hides their weakness, but actually might be hiding (or emphasizing) an unknown strength.
Silence is golden. We’ve heard that commandment and think that it’s an absolute. It’s not. It’s a tool that should be used to create a total picture. There is data in that silence, and it just might hold the most critical information that points to an answer. Noise can be painful, but silence is just as deadly depending on where it’s placed.
Is your silence hurting you? That’s a question that engulfed my mind this weekend. It started from one US town’s tragedy, but it echoed the tragedy that is eclipsing around the world. It’s not only the silence of our voices in critical conversations that are scaring me. It’s the silence of those who actually have the power to change things for the better that is frightening me. Words can move, and silence can immobilize. How scary that the lack of words can limit so much more than all of the painful words said together?
Note: Take this version of a song that we all hold as really incredible. A song incomplete can tell a story all on its own simply by paying attention to the silence (Bohemian Rhapsody – vocals only – found through Reddit):
Just one little change impacts powerfully. Silence has a power all of its own, and can be used for good and for evil – whether we intended to or not. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
For all of those whose lives have been impacted by a tragedy, you have my sincerest condolences. I won’t pinpoint a single location because it’s everywhere and needs to be acknowledged so that we can start to address when silence has to change to the necessity of voices.