Word of the Month for December: Silence

Earth in a sunbeam, as seen from Voyager I.



The Virtue is Silence and the Saboteur is Noise.


Silence is the absence of noise, not the absence of sound.

Noise and silence are both different types of sound. Just because your ears do not hear sound doesn’t mean it isn’t present. Sound is always present, and it is everywhere. We don’t have the capacity to hear every thought someone thinks or every breath that is drawn in, but sound is inherent in every motion that exists in the Universe. The journey of the Earth through space produces sounds that we may not hear and therefore we experience these sounds as silence, however, sound is everywhere, noise is not. The biggest difference between sound and noise is that sound pervades and noise invades.

We wear earphones to reduce noise, so that we may be able to enjoy the sounds of our choice. We tune out what some people are saying because it is just noise to our ears, and likewise, we may also strain to hear the meaning behind someone else’s words. Some words are like music to our ears, some words are noisy and rude, and still other words make us laugh or cry. Words are sounds that create change, they can make us speechless and silent or they can make us want to speak up.

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Word of the Month: Silence

Virtue Silence

Saboteur Noise 

Silence is the absence of noise.

Silence is the prelude to the universe. Silence is space. Sound emerges from silence. Silence is the womb of everything. Silence is invisible, yet we experience it through a glance. Silence is filled with visions and symphonies, smells and memories.

We miss silence and we’re afraid of it. We strain to listen in the silence of the night for any telltale sounds of danger. A door slams and all that is left from the argument is deafening silence. Shock can be experienced as a silent moment. Silence protects and endangers. Silence is golden therapy. Patients need silence to recover their strength. Such great power is inherent in silence. Silence is deep, dreamless sleep.

We ask to be alone with our thoughts in silence. We give others a moment to reflect in silence. We’re respectfully silent when we mourn with others. Silence can oppress some and free others. A shared moment in silence is solidarity.  Read more