This I Believe

Daniel - Boiling Springs, North Carolina
Entered on September 24, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in silence. I love to be surrounded in it, to feel it, and to listen to its music. It speaks to me in a way nothing else can. I love to meditate in its beauty.

When I was younger, I was a big talker. I could talk about anything and everything for as long as I wanted. I would provide entertainment to a person for a few minutes, and then I would be sure to keep on for another twenty minutes or longer. I was that high-energy kid that kept talking and talking, and I didn’t understand the importance of listening. I found out the hard way several times all the trouble simple talking could get me into. I also found that talking, as innocent as it may be, could offend someone. The more I talked, the more I sounded, looked, and felt like a fool. I discovered that on the few rare occasions that I listened instead of talked, I learned.

I remember working in a group on a project for school. I talked a lot and over contributed ideas as usual. There was one person in our group that didn’t talk at all, and I just figured he just wasn’t interested, or that he didn’t have any ideas. I was wrong. That very quiet person was listening while myself and others in the group were rambling away not really getting anywhere. He raised his hand and everyone was silent. Everybody listened to him like he was a genius. I had to raise my voice for somebody to even realize I was talking, and this guy just raised his hand and everybody stopped talking. He ended up being right. That day I learned the value of listening as well as the value of silence. Because he talked less, his words were valued. I finally made up my mind that when I went off to college where I didn’t know anyone, I would start over and not be the over talkative person I used to be. I wanted to listen and have what I say be valuable.

Other than believing in being silent, I believe in the sounds of silence. Everywhere I go, the noise of the outside world yells distractions and stress. I believe in complete silence. I treasure the time I can spend alone in silence more than almost anything. In those precious times I can concentrate and truly think without distractions. In those times, I can appreciate the music of silence. One of my favorite poems is “Music When Soft Voices Die” by Percy Shelley. It is about how nothing can be as beautiful as the music inside your head. I can only hear this music in complete silence. Only then can I concentrate on its pure beauty.

I love the sounds and the beauty of silence. That is why I believe in silence. Silence brings beauty to the ordinary.