Ask Amy: Find peace in nature amidst the noise

Dear Amy:

I live in Colorado and have small children at home and a job where I am constantly bombarded with noise.

I often find myself outdoors in search of peace, solitude and the quiet sounds of nature – for my mental health.

I am dismayed by the proliferation of Bluetooth speakers large and small. They seem to be everywhere! Hiking trails, lakes, on boats and paddleboards, by the pool, camping, even buckled up while biking and skiing! Few seem concerned about the noise nuisance they cause to others around them.

Why do people not seem to notice or care that the people around them may not want to listen to the music they choose?

What happens when we have multiple, conflicting speakers at the same time?

I wish I could ask people to use headphones when they’re alone, or at least turn the sound down so it’s heard primarily by a group in a small radius and not by everyone around them.

When running or cycling, for the safety of yourself and those around you, you should only wear one earbud and turn the volume down to low.

Is there a respectful way to ask people to either turn down or turn off their music so that those of us who want quiet can also share the space?

What do you think?

– Not musically inclined

Dear Sir or Madam, not inclined:

I have lived on this earth so long that I have experienced two manifestations of this problem – first in the 70s/80s with the advent of the mighty “boombox” and now with the proliferation of personal Bluetooth speakers.

Back in the boombox era, cities began adopting and enforcing noise ordinances (particularly on public transportation). This and the rise of the Walkman seemed to finally bring about the sounds of silence.

None of us could have imagined that we would look back on the last three decades as happy days of relative calm.

Like you, I don’t understand the urge to share your music with strangers (perhaps readers will comment), and yet they do – adding to more noise in an already noisy world.

Yes, there is a polite way to ask someone to turn their music down (“Would you mind turning your music down?”). And yet – the important question you need to answer for yourself is whether this is safe.

It seems that people who play music in public find ways to dominate the room, and it’s not always wise to embrace that kind of dominance.

Your city and local park system may see fit to adopt (or enforce) rules regarding noise pollution. You would be doing your neighbors a favor if you represented this issue to these governing bodies.

Dear Amy:

My husband and I have seven adult children: two are his, four are mine, and one is “ours.” Everyone is estranged at this time.

I drafted my will so that the estate would be divided equally among the children who can prove that they have had contact with me in the last six months.

This can be through phone records or text messages or word of mouth from others. Alienation is an illness in my family.

My grandfather had become estranged from his family.

My mother was estranged from me, her only child. And now it has affected my children.

None of this is my choice, but those who are alienated will not be rewarded.

– My last wish


DevanCole is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. DevanCole joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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