In his op-ed piece, Tweet Less, Kiss More, Bob Herbert tells several stories about those of us who find it difficult to set aside our e-mail, texting, and tweeting. As I head into another summer weekend, I hope to find time for silence, to find a way to escape the velocity of complexity.
Idea for reflection – 15
Phil Jackson used to run Chicago Bulls practices in complete silence (Sacred Hoops, p. 119).
I’ve used Nancy Kline’s ideas about silence and listening, presented in Time to Think. It allows each person in a group 5 uninterrupted minutes to speak to the topic at hand. If the individual chooses not to use all of their time, the remainder of their time is spent in silence.
I’ve watched groups of adults and of teenagers struggle with the times of silence. In one case, even 2 minutes to speak or be silent unnerved several individuals.
What would it mean to meet in silence? No cell phones. No e-mail. No video games played under the table. What kinds of connections could be created that would not exist in any other environment? What would emerge from deep listening? What would occur as a result of time spent reflecting together? How would we as individuals be changed? How would our organizations be changed?
Are we as aware of the space between words as of the words themselves?
I’m constantly running across ideas worth pondering. So here’s one for reflection . . .
My work with music … has taught me the deepest respect for the emptiness between the notes. Of course, there is no music without the silence. It is silence that actually gives life to sound.
– Jane Lowey quoted in Listening Below the Noise