Sunday, March 8, 2009

Carpe Diem

Another oldie:

Say nothing - and everything!…… © 2005

Back when I was in journalism school, one of the things we were taught was that if we were sent out on a story, we HAD to come back with something. The editor had allotted us so many column inches and, if we came back with nothing, there would be a gap in the paper. Empty spaces in a newspaper are certain ‘death’. Oh – the pressure! I remember very vividly being sent to do a story about a labour dispute. The expectation was that I would interview people on the picket line, and also someone from management. (Despite proof to the contrary, we were ‘trained’ to do balanced stories.) Insightful quotes were the order of the day. Well, I went off, notepad in hand, microphone ready and, I couldn’t find the picket line! Freak out time. Like all good journalists though, I DID find a story; I ended up writing about how the picketers had donated their doughnuts to a food bank, and interviewing the organizer of the food bank, which in turn was a much better story. Because of that ‘coincidental’ meeting, I went on to other, more important, projects. But no, no insightful quotes from the management.

Today is not journalism school, and I do not have to fill any column inches. One of the things I have learned over the years is that if I have nothing to say, then nothing is what it will be. The world will NOT end because I have not filled the ‘empty’ space.

Real life is like that. We all know people who need to have their voices heard; people who have an opinion on everything, and always fill the quiet with their opinions. Journalists LOVE those people – really! (and yes -for a while that WAS me – I confess!) Over time, we all learn to be more considered in what we say, even as I understand the prime time show Seinfeld was a show about “nothing”. I never saw that show but from what I have read, they managed to say a lot of nothing about anything and everything!

Today I have nothing to say, and I am comfortable with that. As I listen to the news, and others around me, I wonder how different our world would be, for all of us if, instead of looking to others to ‘tell’ us their truths, share their expertise (and add our own voices to the noise), we took time to listen to our own ‘voices’, paid attention to what our own hearts tell us. And then? Let our hearts speak to each other. Hearts always speak much louder than any "words" can say...;)

To me, silence is indeed golden. In silence we can hear the heart song. Within each of our own hearts is the answer to everything. So today – I am going to do and say ‘nothing’, and listen to - and with - my heart. Care to join me? . Shhhhhhhhhhhh!!

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