Creativity Productivity & Work

Listening to see

If you sharpen your listening, you can sharpen your vision. Try this: pick a sound to focus–the train passing, a nearby conversation, birds chirping–and you’ll feel start feeling more observant too.

You may notice how the light bounces off the train’s windows, the talkative woman’s curly red hair or untied shoe, or the health of tree limb hosting a bird’s nest.

The art of noticing starts with your ears and expands to other sensory areas. When you hone in on the sonic waves, everything else becomes transparent–it’s like watching an IMAX movie.

Listening is seeing on purpose. If you listen to your breath during mindfulness meditation, your mind calms down and creates a quiet zone for focus. Silence is a great canvass for your thoughts.

If you use your ears, your brain seems to work as well. Using one of the senses triggers the whole system like walking does in helping jog the mind. Make sense of the world, several senses at a time.

Life & Philosophy Tech

The Quiet Car


“We’d like to maintain a library like atmosphere,” announces the conductor on the Quiet Car.

The Quiet Car is the first car of the train where no talking nor loud music is allowed.  Passengers abide religiously, complaining at the subtlest of noise.  Even chewing or turning a newspaper causes a stir.

The Quiet Car is one of the very few public escapes we have left.  It’s a place to hear ourselves breathe, think, and review the day.  Or simply sleep and dream.

The Quiet Car gives people a chance to slow down, notice life, while still speeding ahead to our destination.  The Quiet Car reminds us that our brains still have gears.

The Quiet Car is also a reminder that progress comes with patience, focus, and collaborative effort.  Everyone sitting in the Quiet Card works together to achieve silence so that the entire group can be more productive.  These passengers understand the importance of the moment.

In the age of digital distraction, serenity is scarce.  We need places like the Quiet Car to step outside chaos.  We need a place to unwind, let go, and let live.


The Quiet Ones

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

And so the volume has incrementally risen, the imbecilic din encroaching on one place after another — mass transit, waiting rooms, theaters, museums, the library — until this last bastion of civility and calm, the Quiet Car, has become the battlefield where we quiet ones, our backs forced to the wall, finally hold our ground. 

It’s amazing that in today’s digital age you’d think that the consumption on Internet devices would quiet people down. Instead, it’s made people ignorant and blind to the Quiet Car, the only bastion of public serenity we have left.