Bob Dylan received the 2016 Nobel Prize for literature, and his current reply to the honour is silence. Many can’t figure out why he doesn’t comment about the award, but I think he IS commenting.
I can only guess at what his silence says:
- Maybe it’s that his lyrics speak for themselves.
- Perhaps he’s disappointed that the change he hoped to inspire didn’t spread and stick.
- He could have already said what matters to him and feels silenced to sadness that the masters of war continue living.
- Civil rights movements like the ones he supports have made an impact in some parts of the world but are still too greatly needed in most places. Perhaps he feels he has nothing new to offer in that area.
- The times, they are a changin’ – but watching the latest American election gives the world cause to ask if it’s good or bad.
- Perhaps Bob Dylan is an old singer/songwriter who wants nothing more than to sing for his fans without interruption.
- He might have something important to say and needs time to make sure his words are the right words to be heard – not everyone is an outspoken extrovert. Some take time and considerable thought to form words they’re willing to share.
- And maybe he has nothing to say, his silence is iconoclastic, or he feels unworthy.
Only Dylan knows for certain what he’s saying with silence, if anything. And I’m okay with that because he has a right to live his life without explaining every move to the world.
The same is true for you and me.
We can recognize the value of what others have said and done throughout life without feeling like they owe us anything. Because they don’t.
Life is about choices, not doing what is “owed.”
In my experience, those who choose to live a life filled with love, kindness, patience, diligence, and curiosity tend to enjoy life more and have the pleasant side-effect of positively affecting those around them. The opposite is also true.
Bob Dylan made his choices, I make mine, and you make yours.
I hope the life you’ve created is a happy one. If not, visit mindfulchange.com for some helpful solutions.