Sometimes when we don’t know what to say after a loss or tragedy, we simply take a moment of silence. When we don’t know how to express what matters most in our lives, sometimes we say nothing at all.
When we choose to distance ourselves from compassion, understanding and caring, we often take the uncluttered path of noninvolvement, perhaps hoping that unpleasant situations will simply disengage from the busyness of our lives—or perhaps become forgotten in the emptiness of our silence.
There are so many questions in life and so many answers that have gone unspoken, unheard, unrevealed, deleted and thrown into the trash of our collective conscious. In the uncomplicated world of nothingness, we stand in awe with others encapsulated in sanitized moments of motionlessness.
Perhaps we stand numb with disbelief or perhaps we stand unattached, unbroken, just doing as we are told—because someone said it was respectful and right. We stand no less in a vast solemn vacuum of human silence. We stop the world but for a moment—for what? What will we do when we open our eyes—simply wait for another horrific moment to raise its head and pierce our hearts again?
In silence we stop the world for an instant with a symbolic gesture lacking productive solutions. Courageous acts of integrity transform our intentions into new realities for ourselves and the world. When will we speak? When will we pay attention? Uncommon lives do more than stand and wait. When will we take time to really listen, learn and act upon what matters most? Do we know what that means anymore? Some say ours is a throw-away world. Do we see ourselves and others as disposable waste? Is that why we stand motionless and simply look on or look away? Perhaps we know too much about war and too little about peace.
Hurt people, hurt people. When will we stop hurting each other? Will it only be for the moments we pause and stand? What do we do in a moment of silence? What do we experience in our souls? Are we fully present when we stand to honor the tragically injured, the abandoned, the lost, and the dead? What will change in our world when the silence begins to end?
Devastating headlines bring us face-to-face with deadly outcomes from storms harbored within, exploding over time, due to layers of anger deepened by pain. Locked inside and forced into silence, pain stretched beyond the limits of human capacity. Devastating emptiness turns into fatal paths of fury, erupting and spewing toxic venom fueled by angry rage.
What about the lives whose contributions, promises and hopes are silenced forever?
Quiet the darkness of violence! Quiet the fears. How? The journey to inspirational calm is bold and dynamic, leading to purpose and significance. We are the refuge, safe haven, sanctuary, place of protection and retreat when we cultivate hope and speak peace and wholeness into the world. We are the strength of our collective reach, the insight that builds bridges to expand the human experience. Quiet the violence! We quiet the violence by strengthening the value of human significance and purpose.
Our nation is often lost in too many silent moments, when so much could be said and done among all of us, within our nation and beyond. Neither tears nor “things” can penetrate the concerns that eat at our hearts and impoverish our souls. Impulsive buying and spending, binging and purging, drugs, sex and more can never reconstruct the brokenness of a dismantled existence. There are no champions in the spoils of emptiness and abandoned hopes.
Gathered in sometimes chosen separate worlds of isolation our silences keep us from truly knowing what we never knew. We need each other. We must reach beyond the walls of gated communities, closed to the unchosen. Too many moments of silence builds too many worlds apart.
Life beyond the immobility of silence is immeasurable, transforming obstacles into innovation and bold new realities. We move beyond the gesture and simplicity of standing in isolation collectively or alone. We are no longer empty and lost in a broken place. No longer frozen by our fears, we act with purpose, we offer, we recommend, we serve as a catalyst for change.
Let our voices represent hope and possibility and all that we stand for. The “good” that comes out of a tragedy or loss comes from us. Our greatest moments come when we open our eyes, listen, hear, speak up, and reach out. Resilient and vigilant, we move forward. Choosing the best of our highest selves, shatters the emptiness. Together, we open the world to the energy of life.
What could happen if everyone felt a genuine sense of welcome in the world—a world that celebrates life, honors all cultures, and respect all ages; the older, the younger and those in between? What could happen if each of us enjoyed being fully present in our lives and really felt good about the world we share and the innate gifts we bring to make it a better place?