This morning at 11am, like so many, I stood in silence for two minutes remembering those who have died in conflicts throughout our world.

I find it one of the most affecting and poignant acts I make of all the myriad undertakings in my busy life. Just two minutes – all the more resonant because it is such a marked change in mood, in presence, and in concentration than the time just before and just after. I don’t follow any organised religion but I make the responses to the prayers and I feel the community of prayerful, respectful people around me. It is one of the most powerful moments in a chaotic, attention-grabbing, ceaselessly noisy lifestyle. For just two minutes I share the reflection, the thoughts and focus not only of the crowd of people around me, but of the thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, in their acts of remembrance around the world.

The community of those two minutes, so stark in silence and pathos, reassures me that there is still respect, compassion and love for others, known and unknown to us. The rest of my day will be better for it. And I shall try to remember the feeling of those two minutes as the busy days come and go.