It’s quite loud at the moment. Like someone sat on the remote, and the volume up button has been mashed in permanently. Like someone left the hot microphone sitting next to the monitor, and the feedback loop is screeching. The problem when it’s loud is no one can hear anything. Not each other, not themselves, nothing. So, what if I decided to push mute? No, not mute other people, not try to silence the opposition or play the ignorance card. No, what if I stopped adding to the noise?
What if instead of tagging in to the shouting match, I stepped out of the ring altogether to sit down, observe and listen? What if the goal wasn’t to win or make them lose but to simply take notice. It’s not giving in, giving way or giving up; it’s giving ear.
At the root of this deafening dilemma we find ourselves in is not a lack of submitting our own opinionated content but a lack of submissiveness, openness and contentment. The problem is: I would rather resist than submit. I would rather be heard, seen and acknowledged than be receptive of the other. I would rather fill my life and other’s lives with more talk and tweets and likes and possessions than simply be present in the moment. But that’s just me, right?
Let’s try something of an experiment, if you will. Turn off whatever screen you’re reading this on, sit down and be silent for a moment. Don’t try to do anything or make anything happen. Just simply be here now. Seriously, take two or three minutes to sit in silence. (Don’t worry this blog will still be here for you to finish.)
How do you feel now? Do you feel any different than you did three minutes ago? Did you notice anything about yourself, your body, your emotions, your breathing, or perhaps your surroundings?
What if you did this more often? What if you did this once a day? What if you made sitting in silence a regular habit? What if other people around you started to sit in silence, too? What if everyone at your job or school or neighborhood decided to sit in silence more? What if all our lives started to feel a little less chaotic and clamorous and a little more calm and content?
And if things get loud again, just remember: the mute button is always there.