27 Apr 2011

The Thing About Silence Is...

We are used to it by now – watching people listening to their iPods, music players or talking on the phone when jogging, taking a walk, travelling, etc. alone. Maybe some of us are even a part of this recent fad! Music and friends keep us company when we are alone; they ensure that our minds are constantly occupied, that we are having fun, and that we feel connected to the world around us, and so on. Most people we see who have adopted this culture are until about the age of 40 years.
But why?
It’s probably the fear of being left alone. Today, no person wants to be left alone for the fear of negative thoughts engulfing his mind. Pressure at work, tussles with friends, ups and downs with family, road rage and much more probably are circulating in people’s minds when they have time to themselves. The thought of thinking now seems to frighten us and we constantly look for other things to keep us busy. Or maybe we don’t want to think anymore. This clutter of TV soaps, social networking sites, music channels, radio, etc. has made us so used to chaos that the calm now disturbs us. We reason that these so – called entertainment channels actually keep us informed about what is happening in the world. But is it really? There were a whole lot of generations who came and went before the idiot box and iPods took control of our lives; they turned out ok! Do we need to know how much is being imposed on us? And how much of what we know is actually true? Noted author Robin Sharma states that it is important for an individual to spend at least 30 minutes every day in complete silence. How many of us are able to achieve a target of even 10?
We now are proud to be a part of Gen Y – the Impatient generation, who get whatever they want in a jiffy. We are ready to substitute our need for human relationships with materialistic ownership and that is probably reducing tolerance in us. We do not want to adjust to others; rather vice versa. This is further reducing the overall life span of marriages, which seem to have hit an all time low recently. All this, because we don’t want to take sometime out to be silent, to think, to be with ourselves and reflect.
It is great to have things you want to possess; after all, they are made for you and that is what most people earn for. But it also helps to spend some time in silence. Maybe while travelling, or at night before going to bed, or anytime which you can squeeze in. It allows you to reflect on what happened in the day and what you could have done better. You can probably find where you erred or some situation you could have handled better to your advantage. It not only increases your focus, but also ensures you give back to society and enrich yourself - something I believe everyone wants to do. Invariably it helps in making you a better person. Almost all successful people I have known have adopted this technique of remaining silent for sometime in a day. Isn’t it about time we started doing the same?

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