Silence is Golden (courtesy of Maureen Dowd)


Dowd New articleInline Silence is Golden (courtesy of Maureen Dowd)


“Nothing has changed the nature of man so much as the loss of silence.”

The Swiss philosopher Max Picard said that, and New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd repeated it yesterday in a much-discussed column on the power of silence.

She also shares this quote, which I love, from Michel Haznavicius, the director of “The Artist,” a new film about a silent movie star:

“I compare [silence] to the zero in mathematics. People think it’s nothing, but actually it’s not. It can be very powerful.”

Take a look!

share this Silence is Golden (courtesy of Maureen Dowd)


  1. ChristyMcD on 09.12.2011 at 12:16 (Reply)

    A highly appropriate poem I just discovered, by John S. Hoyland:

    “For thy great gift, O Father,
    We thank Thee today-
    The gift of silence;
    For the rich, warm generous silence
    We thank Thee,
    Wherein our souls,
    Stunted and shrivelled and starved
    In the arid desert of everyday hurry and strain,
    May rest, and quietly grow, and expand
    Upward to Thee.”

  2. ChristyMcD on 09.12.2011 at 12:21 (Reply)

    The silence of the movie she talks about in her article reminds me of this exquisite, sad, tiny little movie that is almost completely told in silence.

    1. Laura on 09.12.2011 at 16:08 (Reply)

      Thanks for the link to this intense little film. I love Benedict Cumberbatch (he’s in TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY right now).

      1. ChristyMcD on 09.12.2011 at 16:44 (Reply)

        I know. And “War Horse” and “Sherlock” and “The Hobbit”… Can’t wait to see all of them.

  3. Laura on 09.12.2011 at 15:54 (Reply)

    Thanks for posting this nice item; I’d missed it in the Times. I saw THE ARTIST the other day and absolutely loved it (here’s my brief review for people with questions about it The person in front of me in the theater was apparently bored by the movie (which isn’t actually silent; there’s a very lively orchestral soundtrack) and spent much of the time looking at her cellphone. While the phone wasn’t noisy, the light from it and the whole idea of reading your phone while at a top-notch movie was so annoying I asked her to switch it off. She did so, very reluctantly. It’s scary how intrusive and addicting these “silent” smartphones are turning out to be.

    1. Laura on 10.12.2011 at 12:44 (Reply)

      More on the death of silence from the NYTimes: “Oh, for the Good Old Days of Rude Cellphone Gabbers”

  4. Brittany on 12.12.2011 at 23:23 (Reply)

    Great quote! I hear about the power of silence a lot in Toastmasters as well, and the impact that the “pause” can have. Silence can be a powerful tool.

Leave a comment

Quiet: The Book

- Wall Street Journal

Bill Gates names "The Power of Introverts" one of his all-time favorite TED Talks.

Best Nonfiction Book of 2012

QUIET has been voted the best nonfiction book of 2012


1. There’s a word for “people who are in their heads too much”: thinkers.

2. Our culture rightly admires risk-takers, but we need our “heed-takers” more than ever.

3. Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.

Read More

Join the Quiet Revolution
Susan on Facebook