Have You Discovered the Sound of Silence?

Have You Discovered the Sound of Silence?
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I lost my headphones…or at least I’m not sure where I put them.  No big deal, right?  Except that I’m flying from Denver to Minneapolis and I’m surrounded by fellow travelers who are plugged in and entertained, sleeping, or some combination of both.

So now that I’m entertainment-less on a plane it begs the question, when was the last time you took time to simply sit in silence?  For most of us it’s a small pleasure we rarely take time for.  You could argue that you don’t have time, which maybe how you feel, but few people really have no extra time to sit in silence for a few moments.

In my first year working in Hawaii I had a chance to join a group of 6th graders staying at a camp for an outdoor adventure class.  The kids hiked, shot bows and arrows, and played in the dirt, but the most memorable moment for me was when we all wandered into the forest and sat in silence for 5 minutes.  No technology, no agenda, no responsibilities.  I think the 5 minutes of silence was the first time I engaged in stillness since we made the big move, and it was powerful.  In fact, despite all the new and interesting experiences that come with moving to Hawaii and starting at a new school, I think it was my favorite moment of the year.

I think the 5 minutes of silence was the first time I engaged in stillness since we made the big move, and it was powerful.

We’ve reached the end of July, and like most school leaders, a little window of time has opened where summer school shuts down (well kind of), and the new year hasn’t begun (well kind of), and I can get away from work and reflect and reset for the coming year.

The last few days I’ve spent completely unplugged from life as I went backpacking with two friends in the Colorado wilderness.  We hiked, camped, built fires, fished, got lost, and talked about life.  All of those moments were valuable, but still, my favorite moment was a few moments of silence by myself sitting by a beautiful stream in the mountains.

 

Flattop Mountains

 

So I know there are a lot of plans to strategize, goals to write, and ergies to syn, but do yourself and everybody a favor and take a moment of silence.

Huge shout out to my amazing wife.  Most summers I travel with my wife and daughter to visit family, but this year they traveled earlier in the summer when I was working and before my wife reached the “too pregnant to fly” stage.  Yes, my wife is 35 weeks pregnant…what was I thinking booking a trip at this time?  Great question,  I think it was combination of naivety, optimism, and selfishness.  It also helps that I have an amazing wife!   Who deserves a handsome reward when I return.  Thanks Lisa!  In fact, you should share this blog post, to spread the word about my amazing wife.

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Author: Andy Aldrich

Andy is a founder of Learn[ed]Leadership as well as a school administrator at Punahou School in Honolulu, HI. In addition to pontificating on ideas in education, Andy stays busy chasing after his daughter and impressing his wife with his big muscles.

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1 Comment

  1. The power of silence. How often are our decisions influenced by the “hassels” and noise of everyday life? What difference in decision making would be noticed if we regularly scheduled periods of silence? Even Biblical text highlight the power of “Be Still.”

    Thanks for the post Andy. And a shout out to your awesome wife. May the delivery go well and may your husband provide those regularly scheduled opportunities for silence as you recover from delivery and acclimate to more children in the house.

    Noel

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