Just silence

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1 year ago

Silence is something difficult to appreciate in our noisy society, it all depends on the moment or situation, but also on the country or culture in which we are living in.

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There are different types of silence that we generally recognize: relaxing silence, awkward silence, minute of silence, respectful silence, inner silence, overwhelming silence, or administrative silence... Surely you can identify many more. According to the definition of silence that we can read, for example, in Wikipedia, it would be the absence of sound, but this would be an objective definition.

The other possibility is the subjective definition, which we are told is the silence that carries a dramatic intention. That is, it could be that moment when we decide not to speak to make others understand that we are angry.

We see that in reality silence is not the absence of communication, but that often the non-sound tells us a lot. But we do not always see it that way, the perception of silence changes, sometimes it is positive and sometimes negative, in general this varies according to the situation, people and also cultures.

In general, regardless of our own environment, we live in noisy and congested societies and many of us have gotten used to a noise level that is actually not good. But how long can we be silent? Not only does it mean being quiet but unplugging everything around us, and staying that way, hearing almost no noise except our own thoughts. Maybe that's the problem, are we afraid to listen to ourselves? That sense of calm can be interpreted with a spiritual or even religious vision. Many studies confirm silence can be beneficial to our physical and emotional health (we also work better) if we learn to meditate or can simply relax. But if you have ever tried it, it becomes difficult because we are less and less used to being able to be accompanied by our own interior without more. Turn off the television, disconnect the mobile... but can we disconnect our overloaded mind? How many minutes would you hold?

Also specifically in our day to day, based on our cultural parameters, silence is generally conceived as something negative on many occasions. It bothers us, makes us feel strange and uncomfortable or we think that others are. How do we feel in an elevator with a stranger? It's an awkward moment and some need to engage in the typical weather conversation. We also have a strange feeling in a library, in which it almost seems that we have to walk on tiptoe, and before any other murmur we immediately look up. In the theater or cinema, we should not talk, but if you are accompanied, the temptation to comment is uncontrollable, and sometimes we forget to put the mobile on silence. And in the subway or on the bus, surrounded by people we don't know, we tend to be quiet, avoiding looks (or not) and looking for something to read or listen to. Luckily it is not for long, but maybe someday you will find someone who will say or ask something at the bus stop...

Perhaps our most widespread stereotype is that of being a rather noisy and rowdy society. The problem is not knowing when to stop, knowing the limits and respecting others, when to stop talking loudly on the street or in a public place where there are more people. We should be careful. In many social situations, meetings or encounters, the one who does not speak, the one who does not participate is the weirdo or sometimes we even think that whoever does not greet effusively is rude. But in other cultures they do not see it the same, normally we have an aversion to being silent while oriental courtesy sometimes implies that almost reverential silence.

For many in some oriental societies, if there is no familiarity or trust, they do not say hello, the situation does not matter, or for example they will consider it very disrespectful that we are talking very loudly with the friend or on the phone inside the bus where everyone goes in silence, or at most they will whisper something heard if they go with someone else. These are groups in which there is a greater predominance of privacy and personal space, of social distance and this can cause some intercultural misunderstandings for those who belong to more open and close-contact cultures.

Therefore, it is good that we take into account these cultural differences but not only this. I think we should also reflect on when we should stop, at what time of the day we should listen around and think: "Oops, I can't hear anything: neither neighbors, nor cars beeping, nor music at full volume, nor the television on, nor beeps from the mobile...". We should give greater value to silence, not identifying it only with a bad moment of sadness, anger or loneliness, but the contrary. I do that after seeing the difference between living in a big noisy city and a small quiet one. I can feel and hear the silence now here, I can sleep better and feel less nervous or stressed. I think I won't need much time to get used to this tranquility that I really needed.

Being able to learn from silence, being able to feel at peace, calm and happy, and without fear of listening to ourselves. Shhhhhh...

Unsplash.com (by Brett Jordan)

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“Only fools believe that silence is a void. It is never empty. And sometimes the best way to communicate is by keeping quiet ”. Eduardo Galeano.

Thanks for reading! Have a quiet and peaceful day.

July 17, 2022

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This text has been also posted on Hive (Ecency) and it is mine ©Duvinca  and the two images are from Unsplash.com
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Avatar for Duvinca
1 year ago


Knowing when to be loud and silent cause both are an impression of good skill. Discern when to be and not to be in a society that sometimes judge and wants us to conform. Discern when to join in and be reasonable.

I like this statement of yours "We see that in reality silence is not the absence of communication, but that often the non-sound tells us a lot. "

Silence is not the absence of communication but a means to understand and listen better, the heart that speaks better than the tongue that sometimes has no control.

$ 0.01
1 year ago

That's true, appropriateness to place and context, that should be. Noise should be when it's too loud for that place and moment maybe... Sometime be silent means you are listening to the others well and that's important too. Great comment, I appreciate it a lot, thanks.

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1 year ago

Very nice text. I like silence. Lately I've been avoiding noisy places. The older I get, the more I like silence than noise, but I mean the chaotic, senseless noise that we are used to everyday. I love the noise at concerts for example. 😊 In silence, we can hear ourselves and get answers to many questions that bother us.

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1 year ago

Maybe it's a matter of age jaja Well maybe not because I think I has been specially sensitive to noises always, also my mom is. Now I have changed place to another very quiet and I can feel really the difference, I can feel the silence and the peace and that can affect positively to my calm, and in the end to my health too. If I want loud music if it's easy to go and find it, but at home and surroundings better the quiet. Not afraid to listen to my mind so it's good to be in silence, I can realize now about it better. 😊

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1 year ago

En mi país, muchos suelen ser ruidosos. De hecho, mis vecinos no pueden vivir sin música a todo volumen. Pero yo, soy del tipo de persona que ama el silencio, y la tranquilidad, la música suave, y ese tipo de cosas. Así que, a pesar de que llevo años viviendo en el mismo lugar, no me acostumbro.

Hermoso texto, como siempre. :)

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1 year ago

Te entiendo me pasa o mejor dicho, me pasaba lo mismo... mucho ruido y debo tener especial sensibilidad, oía todo, demasiado. Ahora vivo en un lugar más tranquilo y aún se me hace raro pero descanso mejor y poco a poco también se gana en tranquilidad y en salud. Muchas gracias amiga.

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1 year ago