Okay, so this is not an original thought -- I read it somewhere, but I agree wholeheartedly. There are so many times when I would like to totally block out all the sound around me so I can rest, or concentrate or just not be stimulated by it. After all if you want to block out all visual input or stimulation you can close you eyes -- and to be more thorough you can put on an eye mask, but you can't do that with your ears. It's easy to close your eyes and doesn't require you to bring anything special with you and it doesn't hurt or bother you. Not so with ears. Okay, so there are ear plugs of all types and varieties. The inexpensive foam ones are easily carried with you and work okay to reduce the volume of sound input, but don't block it out altogether, and eventually they start to hurt your ears. Jim's large "mickey mouse" ears from his days in the Navy block out much more sound, but not all, and are big, bulky and odd looking -- at least if I decide to wear them on the bus. I could always put ear phones on and drown out unwanted noise and aural inputs by replacing them with some music or words of my own choosing, but that doesn't work if you want silence.
Which leads me to another thought -- Silence -- definitely and endangered species in our society. I am beginning to really appreciate rainy and cloudy days. I can take my dog Chloe for a walk and we pretty much have the world to ourselves and a few other dog walkers. No being bothered by leaf blowers, lawn mowers, cars driving with windows down and stereos blaring, people riding bikes or walking and talking (to each other or on a cell phone), or wearing headphones with music leaking out. (Don't get me wrong I love sound, like children playing outside and bird singing etc... I just don't want it all the time)
Silence, the sound of nature.....
I admit I am more sensitive to noise and sound than the average person, but I do wish God had given us ear lids! People should be able to talk on the bus afterall and then I could turn them off.
[This post was inspired by a couple of recent bus rides. One day there was a woman talking very loudly on her cell phone for the whole 30 minute ride into Providence. I couldn't help overhearing the conversation which was all about her mental disability hearing and case!. The woman next to me said she had given up on reading her book because she couldn't concentrate! Today it was just two people talking in a loud animated way -- they were the only people talking and their voices were positively reverberating through the bus]