Jun 29, 2011 in mental health
Ear plugs are used for hearing protection, but another popular use is for maintaining mental health! To be sure, a great number of folks actually enjoy a riot. But a significant number of people also need real peace and quiet — even in the city?
You get ear plugs, that’s all! They make a great bargain considering what you get: a measure of tranquility. And oftentimes for city-dwellers neighbors are simply on the other side of a piece of drywall, even when they’re not roomies!
And that’s when ear plugs come in. They should be helpful to some degree, if not a perfect final solution. That’s because the ones you’re likely to find are only good for blocking up to 33 dcB of noise, which is about the level of a typical conversation. Those of better quality are not as easy to find and will require a bit of research to procure.
No matter how effective, however, wearing them all the time may be uncomfortable. While many people get used to them, others find the practice increasingly irritable, especially when reusing ear plugs. Naturally, no noise at all is preferrable. But hardly anyone anywhere believes noise pollution to be a serious isse, one warranting official action. Believe it or not, even the city with the toughest noise pollution laws in the country, New York, treats the matter seriously enough. And ironically, the one greatest source of noise complaints, that between neighbors, is precisely what civic involvement tends to shy away from!
Jean-Paul Sartre famously remarked that “hell is other people;” this may explain whyThe Big Apple is so reluctant to intervene between warring neighbors, which is but hell multiplied exponentially! But what do the laws on the books do, then? What is Mayor Bloomberg’s signature 311 civic complaints hotline doing besides simply giving out information?
It seems like most people don’t mind noise. “It is what it is,” and most don’t mind what it is. That’s why it goes on. Folks likely aren’t all that aware how important mental sanity is – nor, even, the inverse relationship between it and noise pollution!
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