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February 24, 2018

1/10/2018 6:15:00 PM
Room for a View: Prescription for a Better (Y)ear
By Charles Wilkinson

In an increasingly clanging, banging, screeching and screaming, noisy world quiet is becoming a luxury item. It is almost as if life turns up the volume to mask the more uncomfortable awareness of everything from the world’s chaos to one’s own anxieties. Louder has become the response to loud. Quiet can be hard to find for anyone seeking personal peace.


A quiet place or a serene stretch of personal space can be hard to come by in the rush of daily living. A place away from, out of the flow of the rants of media, the screams of commerce and politics, the blare of celebrity and even the percussion of obligation and others’ expectations, is always worth the effort it takes to find. Quiet can punctuate living, be a stasis as fragile as a caught breath, full of its own strength to shape and sharpen the meaning of the moment.

Quiet offers the best place to encounter self and the feeling of a life’s purpose. It can help one listen to what is important, to sort through priorities, to name and manage the needs of one’s spirit. Some quiet time can enrich and enliven the meaning of anyone’s life.

Thus, the prescription:

For half of one day, or for two or three hours, or even just one, disconnect from the noises of daily living. Silence your living space; turn off the TV, laptop and smart phone.  If out and about, even driving, empty your head of as much noise as possible. Find a park bench, a vista and quietly be with yourself for as long as you can. You will not be alone. Listen.

Listen to the silence. Envelop yourself in it. Let it and every breath speak to you. You will be surprised and refreshed. Repeat at least once a month or as often as necessary.

It has been said that “the best things in life are free.” Some are also there for the taking.  But taking requires a conscious choice, a shift in thinking. That should not be a problem for anyone pounded by today’s noises of daily living but getting lost in the surge of today’s sound storms can too easily obliterate the ability to do so.

Quiet can speak the language of one’s spirit. Find time and space to listen to what it has to say.

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