Friday, March 5, 2010


A basic human right. (Via Joshua Snyder)

In fact, silence is necessary for many achievements in civilized society, especially meaningful and thoughtful study (as opposed to mere memorization). Concentrated minds need to focus without interruption. When I used to tell my students that simple truth, I was often greeted with smirks and bewildered looks. Some had not even imagined reading a serious book in silence.

Quiet is also vital to contemplation, prayer, and worship. Churches should have signs that say (right after the admonition against beach apparel): “Be Still. Think. Listen. Pray.”

Silence is the enemy of everything superficial, stupid, and ugly.



Laura said...

Thanks for the reminder! I totally agree, but I forget sometimes. Noise is so pervasive! By the way, C.S. Lewis agrees too:

Gareth Russell said...

I remember hearing a sermon preached on the benefits of silent contemplation, taking as its text the Gospel according to Saint Luke, Chapter 2, verse 19.

Julygirl said...

Silence....these days a person would have to look up the word in the dictionary since its meaning is unknown and its benefits unavailable. When I was a little girl we had a quiet time in the afternoon when we could do whatever we wanted so long as it did not entail noise.