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Lessons in silence – My 999th post August 4, 2008

Posted by Raul in personal life, random thoughts.

Reflecting on the events of the past few weeks, and even the past few months, I’ve come to realize the value of silence. This is quite an accomplishment for me, given how much I love to talk and communicate. And let me tell you, I talk. A LOT. I’ve even been unfollowed on Twitter on account of how much I respond to people.

But back to the theme of silence. With my upstairs neighbours gone this past week (and their noisy and unfortunate return), I really learned to value silence. I woke up, day after day, submerged in an atmosphere of serenity and tranquility. Peaceful, even.

I have also tried to be silent in other media and fora, without much success. Every time I say “I’m going to take a Twitter break“, I come back. Why? Because I love exchanging ideas. I love sharing my thoughts. I love LISTENING to other people talk. But more than anything, I love (and that is, I think, my inner motivation to have embraced Web 2.0 in such an enthusiastic fashion) interactivity.

As an instructor, I NEVER had a lecture where I just stood there and shared my ‘wisdom’. I always engaged with my students. Asking questions. Probing. Cold calling. Those students of mine who took my courses consecutively got used to it, and by the end of the second course, they were very comfortable exchanging opinions and ideas with me.

But this morning, after having had a really rough week/weekend (where I even felt ill and nauseated for a good portion of Sunday), I woke up in relative silence again. As I write this, my apartment filled with the peace and tranquility that derives from my neighbours’ absence.

Silence is gold.

Some of the best moments I’ve had have been spent in silence. Sitting on the rocks in Pourteau Cove, watching the scenery. Climbing the rocks in Indian Arm and Deep Cove. Cuddling on a bench in front of the Inukshuk in English Bay listening to the sounds of waves. Up until the past couple of years (and perhaps this is the reason why I get so exhausted on such a regular basis), I used to meditate once a week. ALWAYS.

Meditation in silence, just me, myself and I. It was bliss.

My life is a continuous conversation, however. With my family and friends. With my readers. With my students. With my academic and non-academic peers. With Vancouver’s tech and environmental communities. With my volleyball teammates.

There are times, when I wonder if silence should prevail. I have seriously thought this weekend about not writing this blog anymore (no, and I’m not saying this so that I get more views). But quitting blogging would be tantamount to silencing myself. FOREVER (or at least for an extended period of time). And while I value silence and its importance, I value communication too much to stop writing.

Being an active participant is something I do on a day to day basis. Being a silent observer is something I rarely do. I’m going to try and spend more time in silence and see how that goes.



1. Thomasso - August 4, 2008

OK, if you are on a “Twitter Break,” then it only lasted a couple of hours. LOL! It’s like that “potato chip” Television commercial, where the tag line says: “I bet you just can’t have one…” You need to twitter! It’s tough, I know, I need it too.

You may need to get checked in at a I.A. (Internet Anonymous) chapter for detox. They say to fully recover takes six weeks. Can you do it!

Hey it’s legal…. enjoy it instead! Stay connected.

TTYL on twitter 🙂

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