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Our world today is full of noise. Even music seems to spurn harmony and tend to “noisomeness”. Silence is essential to the human soul; children instinctively seek it because they love it. It is interesting to hear what Dr. Montessori said about silence in 1936:

“To eliminate sounds or noise – that is, to have silence – only one thing is necessary; that there be no movement. This is a condition. But certainly silence is a very difficult thing, indeed impossible, because to obtain it there must be an absolute lack of movement. . . .

As teachers know, the most difficult thing is not to move. It is more difficult not to move than to move well. For this reason the children must have done long exercises in moving well and in controlling their motions before being able to succeed in this sort of triumph of the will which inhibits every voluntary movement. Then all the noises of children or of people gathered together exist no longer. This accomplished, at the first moment there seems to be silence. But, little by little, we begin to realize that there is not, because – once the loud noises are hushed – the soft noises are revealed and if we abolished these, there would be other finer. So there is a sort of acuteness which follows the finer grades of silence. For there are distant noises and near ones; we can abolish those near but not those far away. . . .

The child loves silence in itself; however, there is something to add. Silence disposes the soul of the immobile being to something special. In other words, silence does not leave us as we were before. This something special is certainly not an acquisition of culture because complete inhibition is an external state, but it acts upon an internal state. All thinkers and mystics are said to have sought silence because it predisposes to the interior attitude of meditation. As a beautiful environment with light, color, perfume can have an influence on poetic inspiration, so silence gives us above all the surprise of possessing within us something which we did not know we had – spirituality. The little child tends to feel this interior life, because he is by excellence the interior being. No doubt the child who has experienced it is not longer the same child, but a soul expecting something.”

We yearn for that something to fill the void we feel in our lives. In this time before the holiday crazies start, we might want to start the deliberate habit of creating silence in our homes and lives.