How Much Noise Pollution Is Too Much?
What is noise pollution? Well, that’s subjective, isn’t it? Each person will have different:
- Past experiences
- Levels of sensitivity.
All will affect how much noise pollution is acceptable.
Hello! Robin Rumble here to help you answer the question, “are you being too sensitive?”
To launch the answer to that complicated question, I have a story to tell you.
Are You Being Too Sensitive About Noise Pollution?
There is a stratified condo building (on the park!) that I’m interested in buying into someday. So, whenever a condo comes up for sale, I attend one of the “open houses”. It’s a simple effort to gain more knowledge about the building & its inhabitants.
It was during just such a visit that I fell into a conversation with one of the residents who had lived there for 20-odd years!
“Can you hear your neighbours’ noise?” Was my question.
“Well”, she said, “If it’s loud enough, then yes”.
Then she told me a story about former neighbours: a mother, her daughter & their piano.
Melissa was a good little girl & diligent about practicing her piano for one hour everyday. But the elderly gent living upstairs would have none of it. He went ballistic. He wouldn’t tolerate even a keystroke!
So, should the little girl give up piano all together so as to pacify the elderly gent upstairs? No damn way!
Unfortunately, he refused to compromise. He became so nasty, & the bullying became so bad (pounding on the door, screaming insults, etc.) that the mother ended up selling her condo. She & her daughter moved away.
Finally, they settled into a newly purchased condo. The first thing the mother did was contact the neighbour upstairs & request input on a piano practice schedule. A businesswoman in her 50’s, she was only too happy to oblige. They chose a specific hour each day when the businesswoman was at usually at work & that was also convenient for the daughter.
“And don’t worry about weekends”, she said, “I can handle listening to a couple of hours of piano practice.”
However, one day the mother received a text from the businesswoman:
“I was wondering if little Melissa might skip her piano practice today? I’m sorry to have to ask, but I’m in bed with a terrible migraine.”
Of course, Melissa took the day off from her piano playing.
Compromise is important.
Issues arise when a person is too rigid, such as the elderly gent in the story. You cannot live in attached housing & expect absolute silence.
Are You Being Too Inconsiderate Regarding Noise Pollution?
On the flip-side, however, there are those self-absorbed folks who believe it is their RIGHT to live their lives in exactly any way they see fit. They refuse to compromise! They could care less who they may be affecting. Excessive noise is part of their lifestyle.
Unfortunately, their noise pollution can’t help but have negative repercussions on the quality of life of their surrounding neighbours.
For a fact, if you:
- Stomp your feet,
- Shout, scream or howl,
- Turn up your electronics (television or stereo) louder than a speaking voice,
- Slam your cupboard doors or bedroom doors
Then your neighbours are going to hear you.
If you do it often enough, then your neighbours will become annoyed & eventually be prompted to do something to stop it.
The fact remains that as per law & logic, each of us must be held responsible for ensuring that our noise pollution stays within our home. This is called respect & consideration. It’s part of community living. It’s part of being a decent human being.
Consider if laws & logic were reversed. Imagine if each & every resident of a strata complex was inconsiderate of one another & made as much noise as they wanted or could. The complex would cease to be a community of little sanctuaries where it was possible to rest, relax & regenerate. Instead it would become a ghetto where it was impossible to recuperate from the stresses of the outside world & get a good night’s sleep.
– Robin Rumble
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