The Value of Silence

There is a nice piece about silence at the BBC.
It was hard reference to find as I only heard about this event this morning on Radio 4.

The concept is simple, really!

The Bishop of Reading, Stephen Cottrell was this morning engaged in giving people at Reading station an egg timer. The point being that he was giving people a chance to reconsider the element of and importance of, ‘Time’.

Like many ideas that show true innovation, this is just as good. One of the great aspects about it is that depending on what you do with the time you recognise that is so precious, you can potentially gain from it if you use it in a positive manner.

For example, using it for:

* Meditation
* Considering others
* Taking time out to consider that peace can and shoule be given a chance
* Giving greater effort to consider alternative strategies when problem solving

Time is an element that is often used to tell the best jokes or negotiate a valuable deal, yet rarely is it considered as an asset to remind us of who we are and where we are really going.

This latter aspect of considering ones place in the world and that we are start from dust and end up in dust can provide a reality check. Sure, competition can be healthy but should it be at the expense of damaging others.

For example, is there a limit to capitalist thought? In this weekend’s United Kingdom Financial Times, it was suggested that one property tycoon is proposing to buy land before it is allocated for house construction. The proposal is that once houses are constructed they can only be leased / rented. Does this mean that no thought has been given to the future housing market issues or is it the race to stay ahead of others?

Bishop Cottrell suggests that ‘just 3 minutes’ should be put aside to do nothing. I wondered in those 180 seconds a raft of interruptions could occur or one may be inspired to perform a good thought. He also suggests that, ‘All the religious traditions of the world recognise the value of stillness and silence’.

The chorus of the song, ‘Silence is golden’’ by Frankie Valli states that,

Silence is golden, but my eyes still see.
Silence is golden, golden, but my eyes still see

I wonder how many of us consider all those people that are silent because economics have enslaved them to be hungry, child labourers or abused.

If only we took the gift of time we could:

* Think about not losing our tempers on each other
* Consider ditching the ego trip
* Use our spiritual strength
* Not be swayed by hate
* Be more environmentally friendly

and work together to pressure our leaders to clean-up our act.

Finally, consider that often at a time of honouring someone important, if they have died, we are asked to observe a 1-minute national/international silence. Yet, ironically, in that minute many innocent people die in a world that has enough resources to feed them.

Categories: 2007, Anti-Fascism, Anti-Poverty, Corporate Responsibility, Spirtuality

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