A one day blog silence has been proposed for 30th April. Initially, the event was to be held as a mark of respect for the victims at Virginia Tech. However, this seems to have been expanded to include victims of violence around the world.
Some people are questioning the merits of a silence at all, saying we should be talking instead, debating the issues and looking for answers. Although, I believe those things are very important I have to disagree with them because sometimes silence can speak far more eloquently than thousands of words, and sometimes, it is important to take a step back to remember and reflect.
In the course of my life I have seen instances of people uniting together in silence, which have been incredibly powerful. Men and women standing before war memorials, a far away look in the eyes as they thought of the ones who didn’t make it home. Tens of thousands of football fans filling stadiums with silence instead of the usual chants and songs, as they remembered the victims of the Hillsborough disaster. What seemed like a whole town-full of people stopping whatever they were doing and falling quiet as a mark of respect to those who died on September 11th.
The people who have lost a loved one as a result of violence know a different kind of silence. It’s the silence of a bedroom whose occupant will never use it again. The silence of a house that no longer rings with laughter. The silence at the end of the phone, instead of a much loved voice. The silence of sleeping alone in a bed bought for and by two.
By taking a day to reflect we are telling these people that although we may not know them personally, or the details of their loss, they are still important. OK, it’s not a big gesture, and in the great scheme of things it isn’t going to do much, but surely it’s better than nothing, better than simply going about our business as though nothing else matters.
Then we can get back to talking.
Originally published at Kate Blogs About . . .