The Words of Silence

The Words of Silence:   

There are too many beautiful words, quotes, and stories in this world that have moved people’s hearts and minds, and to limit it to just a few is a bit disheartening. However, one can try their best to label some of them as their favourites. 

(This quote is from an American spiritual teacher, Ram Dass.)

As a quiet and introverted person, I find myself to be more observant to my surroundings than most people. I see things in my own way; reflecting on it, and thinking about it, and before I decide to comment.  Although I might not say much, and can come off as an airhead, I feel that most of my world revolves around my own thoughts and my own mind. Because I reflect a lot on my own, I can see my own flaws and strengths, and I often wonder how both myself and others would feel in different scenarios in my head. I automatically try to analyze and figure out how another person is feeling, and I think this has led me to become more empathetic to other people’s emotions and situations. This is why “The quieter you become, the more you can hear,” really resonated with me, because it reflected my perspectives of how I view myself, and how I view others. This quote is also why I chose John Cage’s 4’33 as my song, not only because it interested me, but also because it reflected my aspiration of becoming someone who can recognize different emotions and surroundings.

Because of my personality, I don’t often speak out and participate, due to my fears of being wrong, or the anxiety of feeling rejected, and it leads me to admire those who can speak so eloquently and voice their opinions without hesitation.  However, being quiet has its perks; I would rather listen to someone else’s stories or dilemmas and try to find ways to help instead of talking about myself. In this way, I’ve become a good listener, and I realize the importance of keeping silent when someone wants you just to listen.

 

“I’m not the messenger at all. I’m the message.” (Zusak 357)

“I am the Messenger” is one of my all time favourite books. (I read it when I was in book club in grade 9, and I loved it so much, I finished it in a day.) I read this book when I was in a state of anxiety and frenzy (being a grade 9 student and all), and it made me realize that anyone in this world has the potential to be a good person, no matter the circumstances or how tired of life they are, including myself. This novel brings the message that any person in this world can realize their true potential, and resolve to follow that path.  The protagonist, Ed, found his innate characteristic to help others; he was so desperate to save them that he held no concern for himself. The quote I put above is the last line of the novel, and it is significant because the author sends the message saying that everyone should care for their own life, and realize that they are not a lost cause, or a good-for-nothing person, as long as they choose to invest into being alive, leading to a meaningful life.

People are able to do simple acts of kindness and not realize it at all. Everyone has the potential to be good. Everyone has the potential to have purpose, as long as you choose to act on it.  This relates to my opinion of the importance of silence.  It is not just the words that come out of your mouth that can save a person’s life. I believe that the silent actions of others, even if no one realizes it, can save both oneself and others. Silent acts of kindness can help one validate themselves, and recognize that they are doing something worthwhile for someone else. As the saying from the Bible goes, “It’s always better to give than receive.”

 

“Open your eyes, Open your heart.”

This is a quote that I always hear from my dad whenever a problem comes up. Although usually its said over simple things, like when I can’t find my phone and I had forgotten where I put it, or when I don’t want to share my dessert with my little brother. However, I’ve decided to explore this quote into a deeper context. “Open your eyes” means to not be blind to other people’s suffering. It means, to me, not to turn away from something that you can help with. I would say that this trait is part of my personality; I can’t/won’t/shouldn’t leave someone behind if they are in a state of distress. I feel that I need to try to help them before I can carry on with my own business. This leads to the “open your heart” part, and it means to be generous (as my dad likes to use this word), and help someone if they need help. It also means to be honest to those around you and yourself. It means to convey your true feelings and self to the world and to not be afraid of doing so. It is my personal mantra to be kind, honest, and brave.

 

The Words of Silence:

We are taught to believe that silence is a weakness.

Because you are not strong,

You are not heard,

You are only a follower.

We are taught to believe that your voice is a strength.

Because then you are strong,

Then, you can speak,

Then, you are a leader.

 

But sometimes, our voices are not needed.

Sometimes, one should not speak.

One should understand pain.

One should silently listen.

 

Sometimes, silence can be the best cure and the best relief.

The Words of Silence are needed.

A necessity for one to listen,

For one to observe,

For one to open your eyes,

And for one to finally understand.

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4 thoughts on “The Words of Silence

  1. Dearest Kelly,
    I never realized how much I missed your writing in all its eloquence! It’s been far too long since I had the fortune to be able to read one of your writing pieces; I had already formulated expectations of how you would have written this piece before I decided to view it. Despite my preparation in that respect, you quite effortlessly managed to surprise me, as you always have, with your words and with your ability to write from the heart.

    Regardless of the topic, I find that you always have a powerful voice; I can hear you reading out your writing to me as I listen, hanging onto the words you have meticulously chosen to share. Your voice truly adds to the sincerity I feel in your words, and it is that sincerity which fills me with envy whenever you speak or write. I find that you made great use of this innate sincerity that you seem to possess through the brilliance of your title in relation to your presentation that taught me about who you are as a person, while also teaching me about parts of myself I rarely acknowledge. Your idea of the “words of silence” was an idea that I had rarely ever heard, and an idea understood figuratively to a far lesser degree than I understood the literal meaning of it. Even the song you chose was a representation of it, the musical piece that echoed silence as the whole class patiently waited for the anticipated music; it was within the silence that I came to fully comprehend the ideas you were speaking of before. And when I think about it, you model that idea perfectly. Your words are well chosen, well spoken, and always insightful. But it is your silence, while you gracefully listen in silence as you attentively watch other people speak, that shows the true essence of the majesty that lies within your character. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t speak as you do. You should, as you do. I just want to recognize that beauty and magnificence exist within silence, as you have shown me. In my opinion, as a fellow human who is also a quiet and introverted person, acknowledging the power of your silence while being able to effectively use it is what I take out of “Open your heart”; I interpret it to mean that I should cease the use of silence and my quietness as weapons that I use to distance myself from people, and instead use them to express myself to people, as strange as that may sound.

    If I were to offer you any sort of advice at all (this is me being critical here), it would be to add your poem to this blog post, or at the very least, show it to me once more if it would be fine with you. Parts of an individual’s heart will always be laid out in their poetry, and it is through your poetry that I want to gain greater insight into your profound notion of silence. In reality, it’s really just me being really selfish and wanting to read more about the aspects that make up your character, coated with words that are really just meant to distract you from that fact.

    You’ve been a person of interest to me since the first day I saw you in English last year, due to the fact that you were the type of person that I couldn’t come to a basic understanding of through analysis. I would look for expressions that would come out through your actions, your movements, and that is what made me unable to come to even a basic understanding of who you were as a person. I should’ve been looking for the words and expressions given by your silent looks, emphasized by the words that you spoke that would give clues to that character. I truly thank you for your presentation, as it has helped me learn about you along with learning about myself while also learning about the nature of some people. Feelings of melancholy pass over as I realize that I will no longer have the privilege of sitting with our family group every day, which was a privilege that I took for granted last year until it was too late; however, I also understand the need to move on. I’m still very glad that I get to be in the same space as you for English, and that I get to look to your silent expressions anytime I find myself lacking inspiration.

    Humbly yours,

    Rehman

    P. S. During the time that I’ve known you, I don’t think I’ve ever heard you say anything that was even close to being what anyone considered wrong, or that even had the potential of being rejected at all. Trust me, based on what I know of you, you’re one of the last people who should be worried about being wrong or being rejected for what you say…

  2. Dearest Rehman,
    You are such a wonderful and humble human being, and every word you wrote and said last year was brilliant! I really really appreciated your presence last year, as you helped me (and everyone in our table group), ease into the anxiety of AP atmosphere and deal with all the intimidation. I cannot thank you enough for this heartfelt comment; it was really touching and makes me want to cry happy tears of joy and gratitude. Thank you so much for taking your time to put such eloquent words into your comment; it truly made my day. Your presentation about your own aura of quietness also inspired me to further develop the themes of silence and the significance of it. I really admire you and your work, and I’m always amazed and awed at what you do.

    Yours truly,

    Kelley

    P.S. I’ll add my poem on to my blog as you wished! 🙂
    (I didn’t add my poem on when I posted it because I didn’t finish writing it)

  3. Dear Kelley,

    I really love this idea that you’ve developed and articulated – both here and in your “Portrait Of”‘ Presentation – regarding silence and its importance. This is something that really resonates with me because until Grade 11, I myself was a very quiet person and I preferred observation to using my voice. I still do prefer it – it’s just that now I’ve gotten good at pretending I don’t because it’s a better camouflage in our society, where your value is decided by how expressive you are. But your presentation and this post have reminded me of why I love solitude and silence so much in the first place. It’s sparked my own self-reflection and has made me really think about why I’ve drifted away from quiet when that is what comes naturally to me. I wonder if is something I should have done.
    Something I admire about you is that when you write, your voice always comes out in a very clear and beautiful way. I appreciate that you always seek to tell the truth, no matter the cost. Standing up for the value of silence is a truth that you told bravely. In this piece, you proved that those who seek to understand the world and who take in everything around them are able to cultivate their own brand of thoughtful steadiness, and you did so with a soft but powerful grace that I can only ever hope to emulate. I really loved that your voice was so present throughout; you didn’t try to bury it in explanations. Everything was very clear and flowed quite well.
    I also loved that you wove in aspects of your Portrait presentation into this piece; there were lines throughout that made me think of your façade and your soul, while the influence of ‘the words’ was clear throughout. Having your poem at the end of the piece was also a lovely way to close; it encapsulated the feeling of your whole post perfectly and also left us with something to think about.
    In terms of improvements, I would offer that you could elevate this piece by paying closer attention to your diction; your word choices were fairly simple throughout and your vocabulary came across as being somewhat basic. It’s not a big deal, but it is something that will take your writing to the next level. Considering more diversity in word choice will add more colour to the composition of your story and your voice in writing.
    For the poem itself, I think it would be interesting to see you play around a little bit with punctuation and capitalization. Using different types of punctuation is a great way to enhance your poem because it helps the readers to really feel the mood, and can also emphasize certain lines to make them stand out. With capitalization, I loved that you used this to highlight the phrase “The Words of Silence.” Perhaps this technique could be used throughout the poem – maybe you could capitalize ‘Silence’ every time we come across it? This could help establish the value of silence. As well – in keeping with what you want your sentences to be – just be mindful that you don’t have to start every line with a capital letter unless you intentionally want to do so for stylistic reasons.
    Kelley, you should know how truly incredible you are. Thank you so much for this piece. I’m honoured to be in a family group with you, and since last year I have been admiring your writing from afar. I really can’t wait to see what you come up with next – here’s to a great semester with you! <3

    Love,
    Ziyana

    1. Dearest Ziyana,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog. It means a lot to me for you to write such positive feedback. Although I’ve never told you this, I have always been intimidated by you because of how confident and intellectual you sounded when you spoke. Thank you for giving me advice to improve my writing!
      And likewise, here’s to a great semester!

      Yours truly,

      Kelley

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