In her book Radical Spirit Joan Chittister writes: “Silence is the great equalizer, the forerunner of a genuine democracy.” In the great din of national conventions to elect our next president, there is little room for silence. Maybe we should make room. Take a breath, place your own thoughts on pause, and listen to another side of an issue. Perhaps we will find common ground. Chittister adds, “Ironically enough, it is silence—self-reflection and listening—that makes a person an honest citizen of the world.” It has been almost twenty years since the Twin Towers fell. Would our world be a better place, our democracy firmer, if we spent time in silent reflection on our citizenship in our country and in our world?

Silence may be the best way to observe Patriot Day (September 11).