The Beauty of Silent Reflection

Jeremy - Moraga, California
Entered on December 13, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I am often regarded as very outspoken and sometimes even verbose. Being a football player, I feel a natural inclination toward raucous bellowing. Accordingly, many of my close friends would be perplexed to learn that I believe in silence. Yet I understand that my rowdy characteristics are what allow me to see the beautiful importance of silent reflection.

Sitting in a locker room before a game, each player has his own way of instilling in himself feelings of confidence and determination. Most blare out their thoughts with iPods, filling their minds with images of violence and pain, painted perfectly by the heavy beats and piercing lyrics of their favorite rappers. Some flock to the bathroom as if they had bladders the size of a breadcrumb. Others laugh and joke to lighten the mood. I cannot criticize anyone who practices these pre-game routines, because I am guilty of engaging in all these methods of self-assertion. But I prefer to stay quiet. I am most focused when there are no distractions and I become enveloped in my silence. Once I am enclosed in this silent state, I am able to dive in and swim in and out of my mind. I do not think my thoughts, I become them.

It is this method and this method alone that truly allows me to think. As a teenager, it is too easy to circumvent unwanted thoughts or cover up blemishes in one’s character. It is our natural tendency to set aside these undesirable imperfections as stagnant problems to be dealt with when convenient. But I have found that these problems grow like disease, and will keep doing so until they are addressed. Addressing these flaws in character is much more than an elementary task and requires full attention.

Before I discovered the power of self-reflection, I exhibited far too many bad habits. I, or should I say my louder half, covered up these bad habits and silenced what my heart was trying to tell me. I wanted to stop my bad habits, but I didn’t want to have to think about them. It was not until very recently that I realized silence is beautiful. It’s beautiful how silence can wrap around you like a blanket and provide a warm and safe place to reassess yourself. It is silence that ended my struggles with jealousy, lust, and near self-obsession. However, what helped the most was remaining the loud football player throughout it all.

It is important to note that I believe in silence, not in Buddhist meditation. I’m not about to hop on a plane to Nepal and become a monk. All I see is a beautiful contrast between how I compose myself on a football field or in the quad at lunch compared to in my garden or in my bed. My silence is healthy, not excessive.

I am often regarded as very outspoken and sometimes even verbose. Being a football player, I feel a natural inclination toward raucous bellowing. Accordingly, many of my close friends would be perplexed to learn that I believe in silence. Yet I understand that my rowdy characteristics are what allow me to see the beautiful importance of silent reflection. Sitting in a locker room before a game, each player has his own way of instilling in himself feelings of confidence and determination. Most blare out their thoughts with iPods, filling their minds with images of violence and pain, painted perfectly by the heavy beats and piercing lyrics of their favorite rappers. Some flock to the bathroom as if they had bladders the size of a breadcrumb. Others laugh and joke to lighten the mood. I cannot criticize anyone who practices these pre-game routines, because I am guilty of engaging in all these methods of self-assertion.

But I prefer to stay quiet. I am most focused when there are no distractions and I become enveloped in my silence. Once I am enclosed in this silent state, I am able to dive in and swim in and out of my mind. I do not think my thoughts, I become them. It is this method and this method alone that truly allows me to think. As a teenager, it is too easy to circumvent unwanted thoughts or cover up blemishes in one’s character. It is our natural tendency to set aside these undesirable imperfections as stagnant problems to be dealt with when convenient. But I have found that these problems grow like disease, and will keep doing so until they are addressed. Addressing these flaws in character is much more than an elementary task and requires full attention. 

Before I discovered the power of self-reflection, I exhibited far too many bad habits. I, or should I say my louder half, covered up these bad habits and silenced what my heart was trying to tell me. I wanted to stop my bad habits, but I didn’t want to have to think about them. It was not until very recently that I realized silence is beautiful. It’s beautiful how silence can wrap around you like a blanket and provide a warm and safe place to reassess yourself. It is silence that ended my struggles with jealousy, lust, and near self-obsession. However, what helped the most was remaining the loud football player throughout it all. It is important to note that I believe in silence, not in Buddhist meditation. I’m not about to hop on a plane to Nepal and become a monk. All I see is a beautiful contrast between how I compose myself on a football field or in the quad at lunch compared to in my garden or in my bed. My silence is healthy, not excessive.