We live in the era of loud voices.
This is true on either side of the political, economic or social spectrum. These loud voices reach far and wide by bouncing off our Internet devices. This is true of every global policy, ranging from climate change, leaving the European Union or effective strategies against terrorism. In India, this is true of banning beef, of having a uniform civil code or the effect of Demonetization. It seems as though people everywhere are trying to outshout each other.
But why is that so?
Loud, angry voices are symptoms of festering pain – physical or mental. Responding with loudness aggravates this pain, whereas silence soothes it. When an angry person is faced with silence, they cool down and start reasoning. However, silence is becoming scarcer. The loud voices seem to follow us everywhere.
Another alternative is to listen. To listen with empathy is to make enough space within one’s self to understand another. When a person who is screaming feels understood, their anger does not merely cool down. It heals.
And this healing could bring about peace at home, in the neighbourhood, in your workplace and eventually, the world.