On the Goodness of Silence

Silence can be more powerful than words.

In rhetoric class, I had always heard these words. Silence shows confidence, while “ums” and “Excuse mes” show that one is uncomfortable. However, it was only until three days ago, that that phrase would mean something more than something associated with public speaking.

Sitting on a beach in Kerella, three hours from Hyderabad and finally with SATs and the first part of college applications done, dozens of teenagers playing frisbee and swimming fill my eyes from where I sit. I am not with them. I am the girl with a book and a pen, lying on her stomach and looking out on the lapping waves.

Some may see me, that girl, as the eccentric one, the one who sometimes chooses silence over words in times as these, during a school break. But is it not that with solitude, that one can think more? In a world full of numbers and routine and to-do lists, it is hard to think anymore, to truly care and be passionate about a certain topic. For me, during school, frisbees and movies are all fun and games, but there is seldom a time where I have been able to remove myself from that, and be with only myself.

Silence can be horrifying, whether that be silence from the audience after a performance, or for some, the moments of quiet while hanging out with friends.  But when looked from a different way, it is a sign of good. Silence can mark success, like the silence of the crowd, clinging on to your every word during a slam poem session, or a feeling of trust and comfort between friends just to sit in the company of one another.  Going deeper, it is in solitude  that artists can find their bearings. Writers, thinkers, and artists may be sociable, but when it comes to seeking inspiration, is that not what silence provides?

 

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