Thinking Allowed

What ever happened to quiet?  Remember the signs that read, “Quiet please!”  Yes, in this day of high-paced technology usage along with the ever-present cell phone, there is generally some noise a few feet away from us.

There may be the tapping of the keys on a laptop, or the rapid movement of the thumbs as someone texts, or phone ringers going off or beeps letting someone know that messages are coming in for them. And heaven forbid if there is a real cell phone conversation going on. For some reason, voices escalate while people are conversing on a cell phone and it certainly sounds that way to those of us who are close by.

Finding a truly quiet spot to really focus and concentrate can be a challenge in itself.  Sarah Ban Breathnach wrote in her book, Simple Abundance, “In the silence, she could hear herself think.” Chatter is so prevalent in this age of talk shows, that many of us do not know the true merit of silence.  Silence is still golden.

Even in classrooms where much of the learning is done through grouping and pairing, a little one- on- one is still highly beneficial.  That is the best way for students to discover what they can accomplish alone.  It is like learning to tie shoes. There was someone to help initially; but, eventually, it will become a personal endeavor.

It can be compared to taking the training wheels off of the bicycle.  The rider will have to learn to balance and pedal on two wheels and not on four.  Riding solo better prepares us to problem solve by ourselves.  It’s comfortable when there is another person to bounce ideas off of but there may be times when there is no one around to listen. So, the ability to be independent is crucial.

And that is when that quiet time comes trickling in through the window.  When the issues become really heavy-duty, the wise will turn off the radio; maybe the phone and yes, even the television. That is how real dilemmas are solved – in the silence.

We can truly hear ourselves think and some of those latent faculties such as reflection, analysis, synthesis and visualization will come rushing in to assist us on our path.  In the quiet, answers come.  In the quiet, great works of art are created.  In the quiet, we remember who we are.  In the quiet, we can become re-acquainted  with our most precious friend- ourselves.

Lynn M.

September 18, 2015

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