It is just me? Am I the only one to notice this: things are getting way too loud lately! I know I am right; my hearing is getting worse. But instead of things getting quieter, they are going in the opposite direction.
I am not opposed to noise – when it makes sense. I have been known to adjust my equalizer to play my music with a heavy bass beat; and there are many times – even now – that people tell me to turn down my volume. But this is different. This is not just noise. I am talking about noise pollution.
The “OFF” Switch
More and more I find that I cannot bear to have the television on. It seems to be beyond a waste of my time. Now it is an annoyance. And one of the reasons is that they sell both product and content by increasing the volume to cover up its emptiness. The basic idea here is: faster and louder must mean that something is better.
If someone wants to sell you a product, they scream in a caffeinated frenzy designed to confuse and hypnotize. And it works – or why else would we buy upside-down tomato planters and blankets with sleeves in them? Fast and loud is designed to prevent us from being able to use our brains. It is the front line in the battlefield that marketers push toward us, invading our space and capturing the land that was formerly known as our mind.
Why the Quiet?
It is not merely a question of having a distaste for loud things. It is a distaste for the meaningless, the things that clutter our lives and lead us away from the truth. Why do I like the silence? It is because it allows me to hear another sound; and that is the sound that comes from within: the sound of the heart, the mind, and the spirit.
This is the sound of life. This is the sound of nature. This is the sound of the universe, and I adore it. Now if you will please excuse me, I have to turn down the volume of my stereo before the neighbors call the cops again.