The Beauty of the Ellipsis

Silence is the best part of speech

Words by Leo Babauta

On Twitter recently, I wrote: "The purest beauty in life is in the ellipsis."

Someone then asked: "How is an omission the purest form of beauty?"

This is the essence of minimalism. The ellipsis is the punctuation mark (. . .) that indicates an intentional omission. From Wikipedia: “An ellipsis can also be used to indicate a pause in speech, an unfinished thought, or, at the end of a sentence, a trailing off into silence.”

If that description doesn’t inspire thoughts of beauty in you, you might not be a minimalist.

A pause in speech is silence. Silence is one of the most profound ways to connect with your inner voice, with nature. Silence is the best part of speech.

An unfinished thought is any thought, really — if a thought is “finished” it’s dead. We are all of us in transition, all the time, and our thoughts can be no exception.

Trailing off into silence implies that there is much left unsaid . . . that what is said is only the start.

Intentional omission is the foundation of minimalism: we leave things out because they are unnecessary, and retain only what we need or use or love. Omitting the unnecessary is a thing of pure beauty.

. . .

Say less, and hear more.

Do less, and have a greater impact.

Make less noise, and appreciate the silence.

Send out fewer emails, and make each one count.

Tweet less, and each one becomes more meaningful.

Have fewer possessions, and enjoy the space.

Have fewer “friends”, but make each relationship stronger.

Appreciate the spaces between everything.

. . .

Leo Babauta

Zen Habits is a blog written by Leo Babauta about implementing zen habits in daily life. It offers suggestions for how to live and also includes frequent references to how Leo Babauta has implemented these habits. He covers topics such as simplifying, living frugally, parenting, happiness, motivation, eliminating debt, saving, eating healthily and successfully implementing good habits.

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