I stand here where the streets cross
In the busy of the day
I watch the bright lights lead off
The temporary race
My arms lift up to feel
The speed as it whisks by
I smell the burning steel
That rises to the sky
The honks and shouts and yells
Only bring with them distraction
I care not what he sells
I only look to find his passion
My words are never uttered
Unless they serve a need to learn
The noise flows to the gutter
While the truth it is discerned
I stand here as the night falls
And the city lays asleep
I listen for who might call
From the ever silent deep
Shut up and listen.
Every time you talk, you are taking away from your precious time to listen.
Furthermore, when you consume information, most of it is going to be noise. More the reason your observational skills need to be honed to sift through what doesn’t matter to find those few things that do matter. The drama of any perceived situation can be properly neutralized by targeting words, characteristics, and actions that are actually pertinent.
When every word has a purpose and meaning, more people are inclined to pay attention. When every foray into a conversation has an explicit intent, more people’s ears will perk up when you begin to speak. By making a deliberate choice to not waste people’s time, you are strengthening the power of your words. Any decoration around those words, whether it is being too verbose or showing flashing lights, only serves to distract.
An extra caveat in following this behavior, whether you find it positive or negative, is that it is challenging. It is very easy to vocalize every unfiltered thought that enters your brain, but training yourself to think carefully before you speak, and make sure each word surpasses your own threshold for importance, takes discipline.
Excessive noise can contribute to blindness. Awareness of your surroundings is hampered by a penchant for talking. The act of speaking naturally demands your full attention. There is very little else your mind is able to focus on as it summons words to describe your thoughts. In this sense, speaking is quite expensive, there are simply no more resources to absorb the rest of the details around you. If you are dedicated to continuing to learn, your words should be considered a precious commodity, as every use of them distracts you from taking in your surroundings.
Even when alone, noise can get in the way of your own thoughts. Through utter silence, you can better understand what is going through your mind. Meditation, however it may be practiced, eliminates the noise that you are generating yourself. This needn’t take form through following an exercise that doesn’t feel natural to you. In such a case, your fixation on the rules becomes noise in itself. Whatever natural method allows you to stop focusing on anything is more appropriate. It should make room for paced reflection of raw thoughts that you would otherwise overlook. In this space devoid of noise, you can come to terms with what really matters to you.
- Do you find yourself worried that you will leave a conversation without making your point? Does that cause you to continue thinking out loud to make sure all your thoughts are fully covered? When someone else does this to you, do you tend to listen intently for the entirety of it? If you were to forget something, will your connection with that person be closed so abruptly such that you wouldn’t be able to follow up if something else of importance came to mind?
- When you are communicating, how many other people’s voices do you register? Are you agile enough to stop mid-sentence when a pertinent piece of information is brought up?