Solitude and silence

When Malcolm Gladwell runs, he never has anything in his ears.

He doesn’t listen to music or the radio or an audio book, he told the audience recently at an Arts & Letters presentation in Dallas.

Gladwell prefers silence.

“Something beautiful happens when you’re alone with your thoughts,” he said.

His father was a mathematician, explained Gladwell, the author of David and Goliath. The father and son frequently went on walks together, but Gladwell’s mother always reminded him that his father needed silence to think and he wasn’t supposed to expect conversation. Those quiet walks are “some of the greatest memories of my childhood,” he said.

“My mother understood that my father needed quiet time when he was walking or gardening,” Gladwell explained during an interview while he was in Dallas. “Today, we need opportunities for solitude and reflection. We have to create those.”

Tomorrow, I’m going to go on my morning walk without anything in my ears.

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