No more Mr. Nice Guy

For the quiet person the one constant in the world is not change, it's noise. Too much and his interior life, his source of energy, suffers.

Keep that in mind. You don't need to be Catholic or even particularly religious to get something out of this email exchange between a reporter and Trappist monks who "seek the aid of," and sometimes struggle with, silence.

The silence does make me aware of my inner workings, however, what we call in the monastery, 'self-knowledge.' I can't pretend that I'm always a nice guy, always patient, always calm and receptive. I have to admit that I can be abrupt, cold to offenders, or would often prefer efficiency to the messiness of other people's moods. Silence seems to keep me from idealizing myself.

I've become very attuned to the sound of bird-song, the wind, water running through the pipes, identifying unseen monks by the sound of their footsteps—just paying attention to my surroundings.

I loved the payoff. Isn't close attention to her environment a requirement for every successful entrepreneur, artist or scientist?


Image of escaping lightening bugs: Attribution Some rights reserved by JefferyTurner