Greg Morris

Designer, Pretend Photographer, Dad

The Importance Of Silence

Andy on his avoidance of silence

I had a brief moment of silence today, only about a minute, but the feeling I had was so jarring, so alien to me, it actually felt like it would be interesting to write about. It probably made more sense at the time

This is something I have had on my mind for, well years. I think silence is an important part of life and communication. I value the time that is spent in silence and only break it when there is something important to break it.

I completely understand where Andy is coming from though. Many people find silence uncomfortable and something that will expend a significant amount of energy to avoid. I can’t comment on the reasons behind this side everyone, but previously it was because I felt uncomfortable with my own thoughts and wanted to be entertained constantly.

I didn’t really know myself and as such there were a lot of feelings and experiences I had had that I just didn’t want to risk thinking about. When it’s so easy to gain stimulation from external sources there is little reason to look into yourself at any point. Enjoying silence is one thing. It becoming comfortable in it is a life skill that everyone should learn early on.

I have been trying, and failing, to get my son into the habit of embracing boredom and silence in order to better himself. He’s 9 though so I don’t expect too much — but I really wish someone had explained these things to me at that age. Thinking and sitting with nothing particular to do needs work though, and work is hard!

Thinking, existentially speaking, is a solitary but not a lonely business; solitude is that human situation in which I keep myself company. Loneliness comes about … when I am one and without company’ but desire it and cannot find it. – Arendt

One you know this skill, practice it and become comfortable with it, you realise what a powerful tool it is to improve the times when you are not silent. You become more appreciative of the communication in your life and able to focus more than ever.

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