Running from the silence, escaping reality


Everywhere we turn, there is something making noise. Silence, it seems, is dead. Not even when we are alone in our rooms can we escape the noise of 2017.

From heating and air conditioning vents to refrigerators, from the whirring of a computer to the dull roar of a comedy on Netflix, it becomes clear: we are incapable of sitting in silence.

Silence, though, is just what we need.

We need to silence the man-made noise of life in order to reconnect with our humanity. When we are constantly drowning out the problems of the world (or our own lives) by overflowing our ears with empty, white noise, it becomes a lot easier to ignore the things we are called to address.

Maybe it’s as small of a thing as our homework that we find ourselves ignoring, but maybe it’s as big as time in the Word or time serving others.

Maybe the noise doesn’t play that big of a role. But maybe it does.

It’s not natural for us to be constantly surrounded by man-made sound. Yet even when we encounter nature now, we take our phones. We have to snap a picture or it’s as if we were never there.

It’s more than just the silence that we are running from. It’s reality.

When was the last time you left your phone at home to visit a park or go on a walk?

Today, we clutch onto the necessity of connection for safety—women, especially, are always in danger, it seems. What a tragedy that, even when making an effort, no one can manage to escape the noise of this world.

Gone are the days of interacting with nature while unconnected to the outside world. Gone are the days of letting children play outside until the dark calls them home. Gone are the days of a reality that is not scarred by the threat of bombs and murders and noise.

Humankind has created a monster. Technology—and its noise—is both our friend and our enemy. It is the saving grace for some but the undoing for others.

Ultimately, we are willing prisoners to the sounds of 2017. We carry our noise with us everywhere, never to be pried away.

We forget that there was a time when people lived in silence. They didn’t have music on their iPhones and Androids that they could play as they walked to class. There were no radios in cars, no electricity to power motors and fans. There was a time of relative silence. Somehow, the people managed.

In our obsession with connectivity, we have become disconnected from the ground from which we came. There is little we can do to escape the noise for the rest of our lives, but for moments, we can. Touch the ground, relearn the Earth we walk on. In the silence, perhaps we’ll find something we’ve been missing for a while now.