What was the most important lesson you learned in your life?

Not all silence is golden

There are silences we live with and wish we didn't
There are silences we live with and wish we didn't
You don't realize it until you get to situation and sense you have just stepped into the cressfire of duelling silences...
You don't realize it until you get to situation and sense you have just stepped into the cressfire of duelling silences...
You are struck by just how horrible the things people don't say to each other can be...
You are struck by just how horrible the things people don't say to each other can be...
until they say it....until it is too late and saying it doesn't change anything anymore....
until they say it....until it is too late and saying it doesn't change anything anymore....
The following part is of an advertisement for the Swan River Settlement, London, December 1828:"Settlers will have no purchase money to pay for their lands, not will they be chargeable for any rent whatsoever...
The following part is of an advertisement for the Swan River Settlement, London, December 1828:"Settlers will have no purchase money to pay for their lands, not will they be chargeable for any rent whatsoever...
"...their grants will be conveyed to them in fee simple and will descend to their assignees or heirs for ever."
"...their grants will be conveyed to them in fee simple and will descend to their assignees or heirs for ever."
The English simply ignored the Aboriginal Noongars were here and it was their land they were taking up and giving away to Englishmen for free.
The English simply ignored the Aboriginal Noongars were here and it was their land they were taking up and giving away to Englishmen for free.
The capital city of Western Australia, Perth, where I live was founded next to the main camp of the Mooro Noongars as if they didn't even exist.
The capital city of Western Australia, Perth, where I live was founded next to the main camp of the Mooro Noongars as if they didn't even exist.
It is now 2012 and what we are seeing is this unfortunate and unresolved legacy still being played out, mostly in silence, until six weeks ago...
It is now 2012 and what we are seeing is this unfortunate and unresolved legacy still being played out, mostly in silence, until six weeks ago...
The descendants of the Mooro Noongars set up the Aboriginal tent embassy on the place of the previous main camp in Perth. It had been a peaceful protest until yesterday about 70 police descended on camping men, women and children.
The descendants of the Mooro Noongars set up the Aboriginal tent embassy on the place of the previous main camp in Perth. It had been a peaceful protest until yesterday about 70 police descended on camping men, women and children.
"We tried to avoid confrontation so we went to the other side of the park but they came after us and made the trouble. The police always intended to arrest someone and they did," said one of the Aboriginal activists.
"We tried to avoid confrontation so we went to the other side of the park but they came after us and made the trouble. The police always intended to arrest someone and they did," said one of the Aboriginal activists.
The arrest of their four leaders sparked furious outburst from protesters and one of the police horses bumped 28-year old pregnant woman, who had a baby in her arms.
The arrest of their four leaders sparked furious outburst from protesters and one of the police horses bumped 28-year old pregnant woman, who had a baby in her arms.
She received a cut above her left eye and almost dropped the 13-week-old girl as she stumbled. Police ended 6-week Aboriginal stand off but protesters vow to return to voice their grievances again and again...
She received a cut above her left eye and almost dropped the 13-week-old girl as she stumbled. Police ended 6-week Aboriginal stand off but protesters vow to return to voice their grievances again and again...
After the sad event, one of our well respected politician made his appearance and talked of Australia dividing against itself. He blamed a few super rich for this growing discontentment.
After the sad event, one of our well respected politician made his appearance and talked of Australia dividing against itself. He blamed a few super rich for this growing discontentment.
A miner from Kalgoorlie who came to spend money to Perth shouted from a small group of white Australians: "You are wrong, the super rich are just circus, the sickening political correctness and multiculturalism is to blame..."
A miner from Kalgoorlie who came to spend money to Perth shouted from a small group of white Australians: "You are wrong, the super rich are just circus, the sickening political correctness and multiculturalism is to blame..."
"We have been dividing against ourselves for more than 40 years," called another one: "a good-fellow feeling among us original white Australians is being destroyed by the inflow of non-Anglo-Celtic migrants and illegal entrants to our cities..."
"We have been dividing against ourselves for more than 40 years," called another one: "a good-fellow feeling among us original white Australians is being destroyed by the inflow of non-Anglo-Celtic migrants and illegal entrants to our cities..."
"...Thus weakening that good-fellow feeling." Finished the sentence another of his mates and then they just turned around and followed the road to the closest pub.
"...Thus weakening that good-fellow feeling." Finished the sentence another of his mates and then they just turned around and followed the road to the closest pub.
I can only assume that they continued in their monolouges over few and few more beers, no one  would challenge them although 40 per cent of Australians come from other than English background and 10 per cent are of Aboriginal descend.
I can only assume that they continued in their monolouges over few and few more beers, no one would challenge them although 40 per cent of Australians come from other than English background and 10 per cent are of Aboriginal descend.
Another day will come and go in silence...we are all happy here in our big multicultural Australia, aren't we?
Another day will come and go in silence...we are all happy here in our big multicultural Australia, aren't we?

Living in silence's absence




Half the fun

of the travel

is the feeling

of lostness,

and while

you look

for your way

around,

you learn

a new

life lesson,

every time.



What I do now

is tell my story

and talk about

silence,

an unwanted gift,

a precious gift

we are bound

to take

home

from our

Bali

holiday.



Mist swirls between lofty peaks

as we walk

through the narrow streets,

dark houses

welcome us

in every twists and turns.

Foliage,

dripping with recent rain,

clings tenaciously to craggy roofs.

Ephemeral waterfalls

tumble

gently

down

manmade

rocky

crevices.

The faint sound

of water

fades

away

as we pass

through

the majestic door

and enter

our hotel room.

We open

the window

and silence

envelope us all.




The whole island

of 4 million people

is silent,

inside their huts

with the light off

and their mouths closed.

The airport shuts

the harbours are empty

everything is quiet

lost in meditation,

fasting

and reflection.


We are confused

stumbling into silence

shocked

all of sudden

what that strange feeling is...




A Balinese woman

in a small window

opposite,

waves at us

gently

with an open invitation

to join

her quest

for a sense

of inner peace.




But my friends

demand

their money back

they feel cheated,

never loosing

their noise

before,

the background grind of traffic,

the loud music in a bar

and endless phone ringing

while news bulletins

from TV

chasing them loudly

down

their hotel corridors

to their noisy cars.




" Remember,

back home,

last year,

in Kimberley,

when we got lost

in a huge northern stretch of WA?"

I try to reason with my friends,

"It is one of the most remote

places on Earth,

that desert silence..."




"I had music in my earphones

and an Ipod in my car,"

says one of my friends,

" Remember those fertile waters,

catching cod, mangrove jack

and barramundi,

drinking and singing

and making all that noise

to scare off large crocodiles."




"Back in Australia,"

other friend shouts at me:

"You supposed to be silent

for two minutes

on Anzac Day

and for a full one minute

on Remembrance Day,

not that really people are,

but could you

actually

be quiet

for a full day?"




We live in a noisy time,

so noisy

in fact

that soon,

by its very rarity,

silence

must

surely

become

extremely

valuable...

It will be time

for our Balinese

neighbours

to charge us

double

for this precious

commodity

and teach us

on the way

lesson

on tranquillity.


Meanwhile,

my Aussie mates,

will practise their will

and their right,

to show the world,

how the loudest shouters

claim

to be part of a silent majority...


Silence

More by this Author


Comments 37 comments

Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime

I am wondering if I should answer the question above. Anyway, I learned how to love hard-to-love people, find peace within, and enjoy life in the process.

Great hub, including pictures!


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

So true. I bet the price of anti-hearing aids goes up (yes, they exist but not called that). I don't think Aussies are the nosiest by far, Americans shreik more, and a drunken Brit soccer crowd...!

Absolute silence is so hard to find anywhere. Turning off the telly is like taking a tranquiliser...but then my two Aussies start squawking...maybe you're right, but they're only little budgies!

Bob Lovely photos....


bri36 4 years ago

WOW") this is a powerful way to get the point across and I like the way you put it together. Yes it's the times of silence that really make the world around us into the place it truly is. When you can connect with it and see it in all of it's splendor and share that feeling of serenity and tranquillity you my new friend are living the grace of ALL") Very well written thank you for bringing me to pardise of a few minutes today. Voted^bri36


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

Beautiful photos. I think i have learned that nothing is free, you must work to obtain whatever is wanted. There are times when silence is golden to me. Very interesting article...


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

Nicely done with great photographer.

The Frog


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you for your lovely comments, my fellow hubber...I have just told two recent stories, that I observed...unfolding...quietly around me and the two lessons, I have learnt:) 'What if it sounds too critical', I thought for a moment and then I realised,

I want to be honest with myself, with my readers and with the people I love the most: 'My fellow Australians':)


masmasika 4 years ago

Interesting hub with great pictures that match the mood.


old albion profile image

old albion 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

HI Beata Stasak. Your points are well made in a most thoughtful way. Along with your photographs, you give much food for thought.

Graham.


Victoria of Perth 4 years ago

Thanks for this : ) I have spent considerable time down at matagarup with my Nyoongar activist friends and had the trauma of seeing the incident where the police steered his horse into the woman carrying a friends baby while just standing off to one side. She thought she was safe, who would imagine a policeman on horseback would purposefully try to ram you while you are just standing holding a baby in a place you have every right to be? After all they had left the actual campsite area. You have captured the fundamental issues and a beautiful and non-confrontational way. Lovely.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

thank you for your lovely messages dear fellow hubbers, masmasika and Graham. Dear my Victoria, thank you for adding more information to this sad event...how sad things like this still happen in our times in our place, reading your words the poem of Andrew Sant came to my mind:

'Australia is so wildly ancient,

stable,

volcanoes

now remmants

of explosive life -

provides vast camouflage

and darkness

to sharpen the predatory eye...'


hirundine profile image

hirundine 4 years ago from Nelson, B.C. Canada

Umm, not too sure whether the hub is about "the most important thing learned in life"? Or is it about silence? Was that the most important lesson for you Beata?

It has been said that; the most important things in life, are learned in kindergarden?

I find it astonishing how much moise pollution society tolerates. Apparently it is okay to fire up a leaf blower, that is of such ear-splitting crescendo that hurts my unprotected ear from 2 city blocks away?

I have worked most of my life in an industrial setting, where there are tolerances for noise and it's suppression. Yet it's okay for people to exercise while jogging or walking down the street, in early hours, that you can hear their conversation through double-paned windows. Or the man next door goes out every morning before noise curfew to whack up logs for firewood. Why he cannot do the whole pile one afternoon, is strange to me. Thwack, thwack, the dull boom and vibration of his using the ground for this purpose echoes through my house. Not to count the slammed doors and car alarms that erupt spontaneously at any time of day.

I live in south-east British Columbia Canada and the noise at the top of the mountain from the small town below is magnified. You can hear everything including indistinguishable voices. A person has to go over or around to the next valley to escape it.

My conclusion is? That most people do not give a rat's equus africanus asinus; about the amount of noise around them, or whether they are being offensive.

Maybe, that's my thing learnt? ...... Cheers!


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK

A wonderful message said with conviction. The lines you sketch are vivid, so much so that the visual and emotional connection is instant to me. I love the cascade of ephemeral waterfalls, silent alleys and rain dripping foliage. The plight of natives versus the tyranny of some invaders is an eternal issue... you've said it so well. Voted up!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

"Not too sure whether the hub is about "the most important thing learned in life", my fellow hubber?

The anwer to this question is in my hub, sorry if I was not obvious enough, but I felt I don't need to be...

"Or is it about silence?" You ask me, my fellow hubber, so yes, it is, because I realised, maybe too late in my life, that silence can heal, but silence can also kill:)

"Was that the most important lesson for you Beata?" You ask me, my fellow hubber, the answer is, to learn when to be silent, to heal myself and others and when to break the silence to stop harming of innocent, to stop killing...do you still think it is not worthy enough lesson to learn in someone's life?

Yes, I know, some people don't care, but they are not me and you, do they?

Always happy to discuss:)

Thank you dear 'Docmo' for stopping by, the message of Victoria from Perth stopped on my track as well as my fellow hubber's question if this 'life lesson's question' has been fully answered...so I am ready to write part 2 on 'Silence':)


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

Great poem with beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thanks Thelma, happy your visit was worthwhile and come back again:)


hirundine profile image

hirundine 4 years ago from Nelson, B.C. Canada

Beata, Well I thought it was what you had learned. My answer then was more about how silence or quiet is perceived in society. I notice some personalities like to yell and scream, when "having fun", at the top of their lungs. While others have as much fun but without the fuss. I'm not sure what it is like in Aussie bush? Here in canuck-land it is noise, unabated.

BTW there is a yogic meditation that involves closing the ears to sound, to listen to the sounds inside. You will be surprised at how much noise is going on in there .... ;-]

During my life, I've had many profound lessons. As much as anyone? I guess? The most profound lesson for me. Would be the day I saw north america's great ape. Called the sasquatch. Known in Asia as the yeti and in Florida as the swamp ape. The strangest thing, for me, was that I saw them from my living room at midday.

What I saw that day, blew my mind right out of the water. It was unexpected because I thought they were folklore, a bit like trolls? That was fifteen years ago, or so.

The lesson for me, even though I had always felt open-minded about things. The lesson was not to take things, as assumed. That seeing is believing! That to keep my opinion reserved until knowing, for sure.

From the people I have told this too including my ex-wife; did and do not believe me either. I can't say I blame them. However some did; including Dr. John Bindernagel, a man who can be found through the web. Be that as it may? The incident affected me profoundly and that's what i try to stay focussed on. .... Cheers!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Beautiful in words and imagery; a powerful lesson.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Cheers to you, my fellow hub friend, it is the most important life lesson for us all...to be open minded and not to judge anyone until you can be in their shoes (and you can not as we all know due to circumstances and shoe size matters as well:)

Thanks Peg and all the best with your hubbing:)


joanveronica profile image

joanveronica 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

A really beautiful Hub! Voted up and marked everything except funny. No, I don't agree with policemen dispersing peaceful protests by using excess force. I have certainly seen enough of that in my lifetime! And yes, finding silence is a wonderful and important objective. Your writing reminded me yet again of my Qigong excercises, sadly postponed! Must try again to get organized and look for silence in standing meditation! Also, thanks for your fan mail, and for your interest. I am organizing a series of Hubs on the Tango, number two is almost ready. Hope you enjoy!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, my new passionate hub friend from South America for stopping by, if my hub encouraged you to look for solace in your life, I can not ask for more....looking forward to the tango lessons:)


Rui Carreira profile image

Rui Carreira 4 years ago from Torres Novas

The Biggest Lesson:

Time doesnt go back, you better take the opportunities or they will slip away for good.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

So right, Rui...catch it while you can and hold it tightly in your hand, don't let it slip away...:)


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

I've learned to appreciate even the smallest token that I received for the past days.

Having to say thank you for a good act extended to me makes me a better person and a do-gooder, as well. :)


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

happy to meet a great travel man and even better person:) All the best with your hubbing and happy to hear from you again:)


Unleashed Freedom profile image

Unleashed Freedom 4 years ago from star dust, planet Gaia.

lovely :)


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thanks:)


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 4 years ago from Cape Cod

Beata, I love your work. Thankyou for it.

My greatest lesson learned is: that life is a mirror. The face you see in the glass, is the one that you put into it.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

So beautifully said, Bill and so true:) have learned something new today from you:)


Ebonny profile image

Ebonny 4 years ago from UK

In answering the question, I would say remembering to be genuinely grateful for the little things as well as the more obvious good things in life. Hopefully this will keep me grounded and not take things for granted.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Beautiful answer, Ebonny, thank you for stopping by:)


George Greene Jr. profile image

George Greene Jr. 4 years ago from California PA

the most important lesson one ever needs to learn is that a lesson needs to be learned on a daily basis. Because without knowledge, we discontinue to grow as an intellect and therefore restrain ourselves from developing a mind that can comprehend the true world that surrounds us!


JSParker profile image

JSParker 4 years ago from Detroit, Michigan

This is a complex, thought-provoking hub with an interesting combination of poetry and photography to illuminate spiritual and political issues and perhaps how they interrelate. Did I get that right, in terms of your intention?

Best wishes.


George Greene Jr. profile image

George Greene Jr. 4 years ago from California PA

JSParker...

I believe what you are asking is on the correct page! What I believe Betta is saying in that beautiful poem is one needs to speak up when it is necessary and to stay silent if it will do more harm than good. Speaking up can be good when voting unless you vote for the bad side! speaking up can be bad when deciding that a bomb in a busy mall will be the cure-all to all the problems.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, George:) That was a great 'sum up', dear JSParker, there is no right or wrong, my reflections are open to myriad of interpretations....it is time to talk a lot, it is time to talk a little and it is time when it is the best to say nothing at all...we all struggle to find it out:)


George Greene Jr. profile image

George Greene Jr. 4 years ago from California PA

Being a communication major in college has taught me that Beata! Along with living half a century in a world where governments semm to topple daily from insurgents who either have the plan down right or are so messed up in what they are saying they lose out quickly! Bombs are no way to speak out as neither is killing innocents who have no say one way or the other! Communication is a gift from God!!! it is ones ability to learn to use that gift that makes progress!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, George for your insightful input:) B


liesl5858 profile image

liesl5858 3 years ago from United Kingdom

You are really a great writer Beata, thank you for sharing this wonderful hub. Voted up. Beautiful photos too.

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