Silence, is the sound after the noise…
Have you ever stopped to listen? To reeeaaalllly listen? Most of us “listen” to respond. To get OUR point across, we don’t really seem to care about the opinion or points of others, we just want to be heard.
What I have noticed more and more is how much “visual noise” there is in conjunction with “regular noise” and then there’s the chatter noise; those conversations & voices in our heads. The ones we don’t talk about, the things we “want” to, but don’t say. Those things, which really, are probably best left unsaid.
Let’s take a look at all this noise. Often, the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is look at the time on my phone, and speaking of my phone, because it’s in my hand, it becomes visual noise….Facebook, Google, Candy Crush, some other random search for how to make self rising flour.
While driving on the highway there is even more noise, road noise, sirens, and more visual noise. Bumper stickers about honor students, stick figure families and save Mother Earth. Plus, billboards, construction barrels, and my least favorite, speed limit signs. I realize construction barrels and speed limit signs are not really visual noise, but they add to the “other noise” category, the chatter going on in our heads. We grumble about construction or the fact we want to go an entirely different speed than the posted limitation…
Or how about this excerpt of a conversation, “It’s obvious we’re bringing humanities children back in”, in conjunction with, “ wow…those shorts, they could pass for underwear…”, “yeah, I would be tugging on the hemline of that skirt too…” “she’s only wearing that bandage for attention”.
The trouble is, this wasn’t a conversation being held by two people, it was the chatter noise in my head. I was silently judging a specific group, and their decision trees regarding their “out the door outfits of the day”. “Do I wear the flowered shorts and my Marine Corp. Hoodie, or do I go with…?” “I hurt my wrist 3 weeks ago, but I think I will wrap it again anyway…”
That’s when it ALL hit me! Who are these people I was silently judging? The answer is, they’re the younger versions of ourselves. Kids, whose parents surrendered them for a couple hours of peace on a Sunday morning. Some of whom will go into the service industry, some writers and artists, some will become parents and others felons.
They may have different faces, mannerisms and quirks. But deep down, in their core they are us. As we were those who came before us. Given this revelation, one would think we would or should be tripping over ourselves trying to make sure these younger versions get on the right path in life, to make sure the one didn’t really become a felon. Yet I, like most others that day, are not really listening. We are not looking into their silent eyes and hearing all they have to say, all they want to become. Why not? Because we are too enthralled with our own noise. We like being inundated with information, gossip and conspiracy theories, why? Because it’s comfortable. Silence is not. Seeing, those words being silently spoken by the eyes of another is not comfortable, it’s rather frightening to be exact, especially when it’s being said by “humanities children”. Yes, those younger, different versions of ourselves…
*Photo Credit: Reka Jellema