College Letters


Professor Greenbaum

May 5, 2016

Reflection on the Moment of Silence

I truly believe that the moment of silence was a benefit to me as a student and as an individual. As it was the only true moment of silence I have in my hectic life. When I walk to and from classes I am listening to music or podcasts. When I am in my dorm I am speaking with friends or watching movies. When I am exercising I am listing to my trainer’s instruction. When I go to bed I am listening to audiobooks until I go to sleep. My life is one of complete and total stimulation during every waking minute of my life. While I am incredibly grateful for the fact that I can be constantly entertained and never have to experience a dull moment in my day to day life I do find myself being deprived of any real time to reflect on how I am really feeling. Although I am always peripherally aware of my mood, it never really is on the forefront of my mind. Instead of being a constant thought I find myself gravitating to for reflection my mood is more of a feeling that underlies my actions and movements throughout the day; somewhat invisibly.

The moment of silence allows me a brief minute to actually think as I have no other place to direct my attention. I must reflect on how I am feeling in my life for a short period of time, twice a week. This small moment in which I have a brief silence in my day may seem incredibly irrelevant in the scheme of my life; however, that could not be any less true. The moment of silence opens my mind to parts of my life I do not regularly think about and allows me to access some of my more subconscious motives and desires. This moment does not only last a minute to me. Instead the moment of silence follows me throughout the day. I very often find myself thinking about what I thought about during the moment of silence as I tune out my audiobooks or podcasts. I can see myself in a way that I would otherwise not be able to see due to the moment of silence and for that reason alone I am incredibly grateful for the moment of silence before each class and strongly believe that nearly everyone could benefit from devoting a small amount of time to just thinking a few times a week.


Minute of silence:

Before every class, a minute of silence is shared between all students in the class. This moment gives students a brief time to reflect on whatever they choose without interruption of life in general. It gives everyone a chance to take a short break from their busy days, enabling a typically much needed peace of mind.

I believe this concept is very helpful to virtually any human being, not to mention a busy collegiate student. As a mechanical biomedical engineering student, I personally am significantly impacted by this small opportunity each day; I appreciate every spare moment throughout my day and I certainly appreciate this singular minute every few days at the beginning of Modern Judaism.

Outside of class, I attempt to meditate as often as possible in order to center myself and allow for a deeper spiritual connection to myself. Because I have a relatively busy schedule, I sometimes go days or even weeks without having the chance to meditate. The minute of silence in the beginning of class allows for not only a brief spiritual enlightenment, but additionally a reminder of the importance of silence and reflection in life.


A minute of silence before class serves multiple helpful purposes. It works to quiet the mind, cease the chaos, eliminate distractions, and most importantly, requires us to be present. The development of technologies such as iPhones demands us to be stimulated all day long; if we’re bored, we automatically turn to our phones as a source of entertainment. It is hard for us to merely sit with ourselves and our thoughts and be content. Simple moments of silence are quickly eradicated by the accessibility of technological distractions. Although our society is very advanced in some ways, our ability to make interpersonal connections has been negatively impacted. We are able to hide behind the anonymity of our cell phones and laptops, never having to talk on the phone or meet face to face. Don’t get me wrong, technology has allowed us to connect with people from across the globe like never before; but it has inhibited our ability to foster the connections we make with the people that are physically around us. A minute of silence two days a week during a one semester course cannot totally solve our lack of connection, but it can help to remind us that we must work on connecting with ourselves (which will lead us to make better connections with the people around us). A minute of silence reminds us to be present and be conscious of the very moment we are in. I think it’s a very important and very basic concept that people have long forgotten. A minute of silence helps us to start to connect with our consciousness and serves as a reminder to sit back and really be in the moment that is presently occurring without reaching for some other superficial method of meaning.

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