Silence, Please !

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.

Mother Teresa

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We live in the world of sounds. Some are pleasant, some are unpleasant. Generally, when the sound is too loud and disturbing, it is noise. It’s something that makes us cover our ears. In fact, any undesirable sound is noise. It is always annoying and harmful.

Some experts define noise as “unwanted sound.” But what is an unwanted sound for one person may be pleasant for another.

At what level does sound become noise ? Sound can be measured scientifically. It is measured in decibels (dbs). Zero decibel is equal to the faintest sound heard by the human ear. It is said that most people speak in a range between 45 and 75 dbs. A sound above 85 dbs damages human ears. It may result in hearing loss. Hearing loss can begin when the sound level goes above 100 dbs and we experience pain in our ears at 140 dbs. Some people may experience pain at lower level, too.

The human body never gets used to noise. It causes illnesses and deafness. After hearing loud noise, a person may suffer from high blood pressure, annoyance, anxiety and heart disease. Sometimes sudden and unexpected noise may cause indigestion and gastric problems. No one these days, can escape the terror of noise. Noise in all places has been increasing. Noise pollutes our environment as much as smoke, foul water and piles of garbage.

A WHO report says that of all our environmental problems, noise is the easiest one to control.

What can we do ? How can noise pollution be prevented ?
Here are some suggestions :

  • Speak aloud, but not loudly. Avoid shouting.
  • Don’t slam books, doors, etc.
  • Avoid walking noisily.
  • Use only one mechanical device at a time.
  • Keep volume of stereos, radios, tape recorders and television sets low.
  • Don’t blow horns if not necessary.
  • Observe the “silence zones” near schools, hospitals, etc.
  • Make minimum use of microphones and loudspeakers.
  • As sensible citizens if we follow the above suggestions, the world around us would be a quieter place to live in.

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