Silence Is Golden

Katie - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on December 11, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that silence is golden. Like any precious metal, gem, or other item of value, one does not possess silence in excess quantities but, rather, stretches it to emphasize particularly poignant moments.

I have come to recognize that, as a human, I hold an exhibition of my imperfections, one of those being my tendency to just talk too much. My mom and I argue – frequently. We go back and forth at each other episodically, screaming meaningless word simply because neither of us want to admit to our defeat. Then, finally, when the heat subdues, the silence sets in. I feel momentarily grateful to be rid of my mother’s annoying nagging voice but, eventually, I do begin to miss our chatter. Silence only entails accentuation of the pleasant things in life – it brings about the realization of things taken for granted. I then realize that if I would not act so stubborn and just shut up, I could prevent my loss and, although sacrificing my pride, I could gain more from it – in this case, the opportunity to enjoy my mom’s company.

I did manage to learn from my parents, while growing up in my stubbornness and endless babbling, the oh-so quaint cliché phrase, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” However, I think that “nice” should be more universal – “important” seems a more applicable word. “Important” can be subjective so it does not completely remove conversation but would certainly weed out a lot of needless confrontation. If people would just grasp the inclination toward silence, an extra second would be gained, with which to consider phrasing. Accidental speech or even just miscommunication can present a huge source of conflict. Imagine – if only the things that were vital to the situation at hand were spoken, the world could be viewed in a more positive light. If both my mother and I thought reasonably and accepted the fact that our beliefs differ (by staying silent for a short time rather than arguing) we would gain more time together, without an extended period of unnecessary silence.

Silence gives more time for reflection – upon anything. Reflection upon the events of the day, someone’s opinion, a work of art, a particularly tough math problem, anything. Silence ultimately forms privacy. And, so, I came to my conclusion during one of my stints of personal solitude. I realized that, in general, if something does not hold importance, I simply should not say it. Rather, I should think about the things actually said, how my thoughts could relate, and how I could learn from the encounter. Obviously, I do not always achieve that, as it would take too much time for reality to allow. It merely encompasses the ideal I strive for, in order to better myself. Silence can only last so long without something becoming lost, whatever that something may be. Silence is best used cautiously, but all the while it is exquisite. Silence is golden. This I believe.