Just Thinking– The Sound of Silence

December 13, 2013

Silence is one thing I learned to value as I grew older. I remember the times that I needed to have a Radio blaring or the television going to keep me company. As we grew older and started raising our families, we kept our ears tuned in to the sounds the children made. Crying, laughing, or playing.

One of the worse sounds of silence is knowing that you have two or three children in the next room and all of a sudden you realize that it’s too quiet in there. So you rush in to see what they are up too. Parental intuition kicks in because you know the sound of silence usually means that some mischief is afoot. Now I love my grandkids, and great grandkids, and it’s great to have them come and visit for a while. But there is a point where it’s also great to have them leave so we can have quietness in our home once again.

Some people have expressed to me during counseling, they wish their spouses would just be silent instead of continuing to talk, so they could have some silence in their home. There is a saying, if a tree falls in the forest, will it still make a noise? The thing is, that if it did, I wouldn’t be there to hear the noise, so I don’t care if it did or didn’t. There are times I have tried to find a truly silent spot to get away from the noise all around me. I have plugged my ears, and covered my head to cut off the noise, especially when I’m trying to get to sleep. I would like to be able to wave my hand and be able to shut off the entire racket from snowmobiles, radios, and the loud parties some of the neighbors have near me, especially after 9:00 at night.

One night I was sleeping peaceably when at about 3:00 am, some kind neighbor did me the favor of roaring past my house in a pickup truck with no muffler. I really wasn’t ready to get up at that hour, but I decided to read a little to make me drowsy again. Then just as I was getting ready to lie back down, my neighbor made a return trip. Now I know it’s not his fault that his truck is so noisy, it’s the car manufacturer’s fault for installing mufflers that rust out.

I sought a place to find the silence by the lake and as I gazed upon the water, I became aware of all the noises around me. Evidently this was not the place to find the sound of silence I desired. I drove into the woods, and turned my truck off, but I still could not escape the noise around me. I thought when I retired that I would find a place away from the big city noises, a place where there was not a lot of traffic, shouting, parties, or sirens. Who would have thought that it would follow me?

I have finally come to the conclusion that there is no sound of silence. We will have to put up with the noises all around us and ignore the bad ones if we can. Maybe our pioneer forefathers enjoyed the silence as they established homes in remote areas, but in today’s modern society we will have noise all around us, even at night. All I ask is, please try to keep it down, especially at night when I need my beauty sleep?

Dr. Raymond Augenstein PhD. was born in Michigan. He served in the US.Navy as a yeoman attached to the CID. He attended Bible college in California after military service, became a Pastor, Evangelist and Gospel recording artist. He continued studies to become a licensed counselor and earned a Doctorate Degree from The University of Michigan, after retiring from 42 years in the ministry. He is the former Supervisor of Hayes Township.

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