Word and Silence
SILENCE AND WORD: PATH OF EVANGELIZATION MESSAGE OF POPE BENEDICT XVI FOR THE 46th WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY (2012)
As we draw near to World Communications Day 2012, I would like to share with you some reflections concerning an aspect of the human process of communication which, despite its importance, is often overlooked and which, at the present time, it would seem especially necessary to recall. It concerns the relationship between silence and word: two aspects of communication which need to be kept in balance, to alternate and to be integrated with one another if authentic dialogue and deep closeness between people are to be achieved. When word and silence become mutually exclusive, communication breaks down, either because it gives rise to confusion or because, on the contrary, it creates an atmosphere of coldness; when they complement one another, however, communication acquires value and meaning.
Silence is an integral element of communication; in its absence, words rich in content cannot exist. In silence, we are better able to listen to and understand ourselves; ideas come to birth and acquire depth; we understand with greater clarity what it is we want to say and what we expect from others; and we choose how to express ourselves. By remaining silent we allow the other person to speak, to express him or herself; and we avoid being tied simply to our own words and ideas without them being adequately tested. In this way, space is created for mutual listening, and deeper human relationships become possible. It is often in silence, for example, that we observe the most authentic communication taking place between people who are in love: gestures, facial expressions and body language are signs by which they reveal themselves to each other. Joy, anxiety, and suffering can all be communicated in silence – indeed it provides them with a particularly powerful mode of expression. Silence, then, gives rise to even more active communication, requiring sensitivity and a capacity to listen that often makes manifest the true measure and nature of the relationships involved. When messages and information are plentiful, silence becomes essential if we are to distinguish what is important from what is insignificant or secondary. Deeper reflection helps us to discover the links between events that at first sight seem unconnected, to make evaluations, to analyze messages; this makes it possible to share thoughtful and relevant opinions, giving rise to an authentic body of shared knowledge. For this to happen, it is necessary to develop an appropriate environment, a kind of ‘eco-system’ that maintains a just equilibrium between silence, words, images and sounds.
Amish & Technology
Sinful Network or Divine Service: Competing Meanings of the Telephone in Amish Country
Wired magazine: Look Who’s Talking The Amish are famous for shunning technology. But their secret love affair with the cell phone is causing an uproar.
According to the Amish, “progress” is not assumed to mean “something better.” Hence, the Amish do not fully accept the modern conveniences that their non-Amish neighbors take for granted. It is acceptable within Amish communities to use some limited forms of electricity (such as battery power for the lights on their buggies), and some machinery (such as tractors without rubber tires). However, most elements from mainstream society - such as electricity generated by public power lines, TVs, computers and modern tractors - are considered to be tempting elements from an “outside world” that could lead the Amish away from their close-knit community or weaken the family structure.
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