Mahatma Gandhi

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What does the title "Value of Silence" signify?

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“Value of Silence” is the title of one of the sections in the book Truth is God, which is a collection of Mahatma Gandhi’s most important pieces of writing. It was published in 1955.

Silence was very important to Mahatma Gandhi. Therefore, the title “Value of Silence” sums up Gandhi’s philosophy very clearly. To Gandhi, one of the reasons why silence is important is the fact that it allows us to instead focus on the thoughts in our head. It is impossible to engage in much thinking whilst speaking, and therefore, speaking is a distraction. Once we know our own thoughts better, we will be able to give more meaning and gravitas to the things that we actually intend to say rather than wasting time by speaking about things that are irrelevant. According to Gandhi, a “man of few words will rarely be thoughtless in his speech.”

“Value of Silence” also hints towards the fact that our everyday lives are far too busy. There aren’t enough moments in our day where we can just sit back and relax. Being silent allows people to take a short break, breath, and refocus. Metaphorically speaking, this helps people to recharge their batteries and to go about their daily lives in a much more successful fashion.

Most importantly, however, the “Value of Silence” is significant for Gandhi, as this is when he feels closest to God. Gandhi states that “(he) could best hold communion with God” when engaging in silence. Gandhi even goes as far as defining himself through silence, giving this title even more significance: “now I feel as though I was naturally built for silence.”

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