Just Listen

Cerina - Gilber, Arizona
Entered on November 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

“Just Listen”

This I Believe

It is said that the average woman uses seven thousand words a day, complete with five separate tones of speech and various amounts of hand gestures, whereas men use a mere two thousand words, three tones, and not enough gestures to even begin to compare. I myself have always been infamous for using a minimum of a million words, around twenty different speech tones, and I basically do interpretive dancing when I talk. But I don’t mean to dwell on the things people do and the things people say. I believe what matters most is what’s not said.

A while back I befriended someone who had trouble speaking out and had withdrawn almost completely. I began to ponder almost constantly, “I wonder what she’s thinking,” or, “Why won’t she speak?” In a way it was just so painful for someone, in my ever so constant opinion, to be so quiet and just listen, never really having a say in anything. I most definitely could not do it. As time went on the mystery seemed to deepen and I became desperate for an answer. It finally came in the form of a poem. The title and first few lines alone had me speechless, a feat by itself; it read, “Please, Hear What I’m Not Saying”.

The next day I found myself not speaking, void of gestures, and not a pitch to be heard. I instead couldn’t keep my eyes off the surroundings, the people in particular. As I walked the halls, sat in class, observed in general, I found myself wondering, “What is it they aren’t saying?” Not only did I begin to need to know I found myself trying to feel what they felt, to somehow be able to sympathize.

Needless to say my views, opinions, thoughts, they couldn’t process the same anymore without trying to hear the meanings underneath. I have learned to in turn try to listen to those I really care about, and hear not only their words but the layers that lace them. To this day I continue to stop, stare, wonder what the people around me really want to share with the world. I’ve realized that what isn’t said makes the biggest impact. Next time there’s a moment to spare to time, pause and think; is it your friend who wrote the poem? Just listen and you might find out.

“Don’t be fooled by me.

Don’t be fooled by the face I wear,

for I wear a mask; a thousand masks,

masks that I’m afraid to take off,

and none of them is me…”