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The Importance of Silence

Maya's picture

When we talked about silence in class many people talked about how silence was bad and the only reason Eva stayed silent, they thought, was that it was the only thing left she had power over in her life. These are all reasons why silence is bad and the idea that someone keeps silent as a last resort. Many times people talk about how powerful it it is to stand up and say exactly what you mean, or stand up against a majority. These are all important ideas and I think that sometimes it is necessary to stand up and speak. However, we also talked about how the meaning of silence for the one who is silent is important because their reasoning for staying silent can change how we view silence. Many people do not talk as much because they are thinking and deliberating. This whole idea about pondering what you are going to say and being very deliberate about what you are saying is a relevant point about silence. Sometimes I think that we move through life too fast and if we just stopped and thought about what we were going to say it would help us think about life and enjoy it more instead of just rushing from moment to moment. T

here is also the idea that if we speak we are speaking for an entire group of people. In high school I sometimes felt like when I spoke up for gay marriage I had to speak for every gay person and every child with gay parents. This meant that I felt like I had to be careful about what I said, although sometimes I just spouted out what I thought because I was so angry I did not stop and think. But I did try and show people, through my words and actions how gay people are human too. I also had to convince them that just because I had two moms, it did not make me gay as well and so I chose my words carefully. But many times I chose to stay silent because I got tired of standing up again and again and having no one on my my side. These silences are worse for me than when I said something out of anger without thinking because these silences carry with them guilt because I felt like I should have stood up and said something. That is always the question for me: when to talk and when to stay silent either for my own good or for the good of the community.