Within Silence

Do you go there?

I don’t remember where I saw this, but I loved it: “Within silence, wisdom whispers.” (Esther Austin said, or wrote it.)

And it made me think about what we do on the air.

Each second seems so precious now, because of the constant pressure to minimize, that most stations I hear are almost frantic in their use of non-musical time.

That occasional second of dead air that used to be common, is not today.

Commercials are put through that machine-from-hell that literally cuts every millisecond of space between words in disclaimers. You’ve heard those. Egads! Who thought that was a good idea?

Real speech becomes more powerful — not less so — with well-timed pauses, with a second or two of pure silence.

Especially if you follow it with something compelling, something that makes me laugh or cry or wonder. Something that makes me listen.

In real life, when someone becomes quiet, or whispers, we draw closer.

We need more of those compelling seconds rather than less dead air, because saying stuff no one hears is dead air.

And it’s time we recognized that.