The Quiet • Faulkner Group
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The Quiet

This is the quiet for me. The end of my day. Shortly I’ll climb into bed and wake up five or six hours later staring at the beginning of a new day. Those hours sleeping are not wasted, the body needs rest. The mind needs rest. Therefore, they are productive hours. They just don’t always seem like it. But these last few hours, along with the early morning hours are my best thinking and reflecting hours.

As a species, we humans don’t do rest very well, especially in western society. We think it’s wasted time, or at the very least, not very productive time. And I’m not really talking about sleep. We don’t really enjoy the quiet. Many of the people have TV’s in their bedrooms. We go to sleep with noise and then we wake up to noise, and in the middle, we fill it with noise. And we wonder why we are running ragged.

But what if we decided that being busy didn’t simply mean doing work, or tasks, or activities. What if we set aside time to linger in the quiet and referred to our status as “busy”? the Italians have a phrase. It is “Dolce far niente.” This simply means, “the sweetness of doing nothing”. Damn, that’s hard for many of us to comprehend, much less practice!

But don’t you think with everything clamoring for our attention, with our relentless obsession with being connected, in all its manifestations, that we might crave the quiet more than we do? I Need it. And I don’t think I’m unique. I’m pretty convinced, with the aggressive nature of technology and that relentless assault on all of our senses, that we need it, almost like we need food and water and oxygen.

I often see these not-so-subtle brags on social media about how people have worked a 60, 70, or 80-hour work week. Then you see people piling on with complements, adulations, and affirmations about how badass or noble that is. I think it’s kind of bullshit.

I absolutely believe that for every time there is a season. Some seasons require extra effort and that’s just fine. Make hay while the sun shines. However, that season isn’t supposed to be from the time you graduate until the time you retire… or die.

I don’t know how many days I’m going to get. Neither do you. But I’m guessing when you get to the end of them, if you have the opportunity to observe and evaluate, you’re not going to wish you had worked more. You’re not going to pine for just one more 80-hour work week. You’re just not. So why act like it’s a badge of honor now?

Work hard. Master your craft. Be a professional in whatever you endeavor. But master all your life. Not just the part that earns you a paycheck and gets you a title. Just my two cents.

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