Community//

2020: Looking Forward in Reflective Silence

The importance of finding a sense of respite within ourselves.

Silence truly is golden and that holds true now more than ever. In a world full of noise, distractions and disruptions, for which COVID-19 is certainly partly to blame, we need to look inward for introspective reflection and seek to experience some kind of gratitude for what we have gained in the midst of this global catastrophe, which, literally, has gone viral (for lack of a better word). Whilst the collective suffers unless every member of the masses follows strict orders and contributes by doing their part, the big winner drawing benefit from the current pandemic (according to some politicians furious by the rapid unfolding of events this is a premeditated political conspiracy game orchestrated by other world leaders in pursuit of nationalistic world dominance) is, as least momentarily, the environment. Pollution levels across the world have plummeted and the hazy smog is astonishingly “gone” in huge nations like China and India, and with that our global carbon footprint is less gigantic. In New Delhi, by way of example, residents still daring enough to set foot on the streets (Modi’s national lockdown a feat like few others) are suddenly able to truly behold monuments that reflect a rich cultural heritage and that tower high, now clearly visible against a clean blue sky. And, correspondingly, aerial shots over China show a sky that really does look bright and limitless.

Photograph: Jytte Holmqvist. 16 February, 2020

Where does the individual stand in all this? Bewildered, confused, and with our comfort zones largely gone, we feel lost, frustrated and exasperated yet must be appreciative. We are both astonished and amazed and pushed to give serious thought to the detrimental impact we have on our natural environment. With the human element now removed from the equation, nature is able to thrive; just like it was able to thrive long before we first set foot on the planet.

Locked inside our homes ̶ or should we say, positively limited to our domestic spaces and safely stashed away for the benefit of our natural environment and ecosystem ̶ we, citizens all over the world, do well in seeing this as a grand opportunity to spare not only the environment from air pollution but simultaneously reduce also noise pollution. This includes cutting down on words and approaching a higher spiritual state by opening our minds and hearts to silence and with that finding the quiet voice within that tells us how we really feel and what really matters. Silence, stillness, reflection and calm is what we all need right now. We must step away from anger, resentment and restlessness. Instead, it is time to welcome poetry, feelings untouched by words, and tap into and awaken emotions lying dormant deep within and which we can draw from and use to become more resilient and at ease with both ourselves and others.

If speech is silver, silence is most definitely golden; perhaps now more than ever.

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