By Lynchel Brumaire
We often hear the dangers of light pollution and air pollution. The harmful effects that
they can have on our health and our environment. However, the concept of noise pollution can
sound strange to some. The expansion of technology into our daily lives has brought about many
benefits, but also many problems. The most intrinsic characteristic of sound is transiency.
However, technology and media have transformed sound into a permanent entity, rendering
silence rare. Restaurants, grocery stores, even elevators all possess a soundtrack. With all these
sounds and background music our minds are often too busy or scattered to really think. Not the
type of thinking bout daily activities or how much work there is left to do, but the kind of
thinking that anchors us. Introspection allows us to get in touch with ourselves. Silence causes us
to pause and really be present in our reality instead of running off to one thing or the next or
jumping from one thought to another. Silence keeps us grounded. However, Today’s generation
often finds silence uncomfortable. Some might argue that because we are constantly surrounded
by sound, quiet just feels strange. And while I agree that this might be part of the issue. Is it
possible that there is something deeper?
With all the different sounds around us ranging from cars to construction to pop music,
maybe that is why some people feel as if they’re floating through life. Perhaps, the cacophony
we live in affects our mood and keeps our mind fuzzy and strewn all over the place. This lack of
silence strips us of the opportunity to truly process. Purposeful examination of the connections
and relevance of our experiences to our identity is what drives personal growth. Thus, silence
and its ability to allow room for introspection generates original thought and aids us in finding
our own personal identity. Unmindful knowledge of ourselves stymies the conscience analysis of
motivations, values, goals and joys.
Yet, for some reason our generation finds silence scary. A major part of introspection is
questioning yourself. Questioning your strengths, questioning your weakness, questioning where
you need improvement. Being able to do so is a sign of maturity, because it grants us a new way
of viewing our life and ourselves. However, like all tests of adultness, doubting and reckoning
with yourself can prove difficult. The thought of questioning the essence of our identity is
daunting. Moreover, doubt causes us to question the meaning and path of our lives Yet, the same
reasons that make doubt scary can also make it useful. Part of growing into your own person is
identifying who you are, what drives you, and what the world means to you. The danger of the
lack of quiet is less physical and more internal. Quiet allows us to know ourselves and our world,
it helps us revel in our humanity.