Silence is not the absence of something but the presence of everything.
Natural quiet allows us to fall in love with a place and appreciate how unique it is. Noise detaches us – not only from our surroundings but also from each other. Research shows that in noisy areas people are much less likely to help each other. That’s one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned from being in natural silence: that we can begin to feel love for a place and, through it, for everything. This is crucial for the health of our planet because, when you love something, caring for it becomes effortless. Just as we care for the people we love without asking, “What will I get out of it?” so does love enable us to care for our world without running a cost-benefit analysis to see whether it’s “worth it.”
--Gordon Hempton, quoted in the article “Quiet, Please” by Leslee Goodman in the September 2010 edition of The Sun magazine. Hempton is an “acoustic ecologist” devoted to exploring, examining and recording the “silence” in various natural environments devoid of man-made noise, and advocating for establishing locations where silence prevails with little or no man-made noise. He is the coauthor of a book, One Square Inch of Silence: One Man’s Quest to Preserve Quiet.
There are many wonderful quotes about Silence in the Sunbeams section at the end of this edition.