As the recent host of a slumber party with seven 14 year old boys in my house, I know loud. These were perhaps some of the loudest people in America (or so it seemed on that Saturday night). But they were having clean, wholesome fun so how bad can that be.
Just as "loud" has a place in our world, so does "quiet." More often than not, though, quiet is quite the commodity. Background noises such as binge-watched television, show streaming, or catching a half-dozen Youtube videos is what more and more of us are gravitating toward in our free time. Or music--often with headphones (that would be my two teens at home--though back in the day a generation or so ago, it was loud music blasted from the stereo). Even social media these days is more often in video versus visual form with snaps, Insta-stories, or other videos. When my students get overly chatty at school, I discuss how we need to cut back on the "noise pollution," and we have enough pollution as it is!
Quiet Parks International. From their "About" page, looks like I might be onto something with this "noise pollution" thing. Much like animals, "quiet" is becoming an endangered species. With air zones overhead, highways near by, city sounds surrounding, noise is everywhere. A startling statistic from this page: "90% of children will not experience natural quiet during their lifetime." Yikes! That makes my ears hurt just writing this!
Even more startling from their page is the effect of noise on our health. It can lead to "cardiovascular disease, hypertension, sleep disturbance, annoyance, cognitive impairment, hearing impairment and tinnitus, and reduces quality of life, well being and mental health."
So Quiet Parks International is on a mission... a mission to quiet things down. They are working to create "a set of classifications, standards, testing methods, and management guidelines for the certification of the world’s pristine and endangered quiet places. Quiet Parks International has established the world’s first Wilderness Quiet Park and developed a list of over 262 potential sites around the globe that should be certified and preserved."
Not only do they certify quiet locations, they also have a list on their websites of the following:
- Wilderness Quiet Parks
- Urban Quiet Parks
- Quiet Trails
- Marine Quiet Parks
- Quiet Residences & Communities
- Quiet Hotels
Screenshot from https://www.quietparks.org/about; video from https://vimeo.com/328582149, Rumi quote from https://wisdomquotes.com/silence-quotes/