Silence is a Virtue

Amber - Ruma, Illinois
Entered on May 4, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that silence is the best way to communicate. Everything can be said when nothing is heard. Silence can say anything from “I’m happy to be here” to “I want to leave.”

Whenever I go anywhere in the car with my dad, we hardly talk. Why do we need to? We listen to Classic Rock and sing along to the songs we know. That is enough for us. Our conversation flows through the music. Whenever we do talk, it’s to say something that can’t be implied. We were driving home one day after I had received an award at school. We spent most of the ride just savoring the moment. All of a sudden, he said, “Amber, I’m proud of you. I know I don’t say it enough but I am.” My response was a simple “I know”.

Silence can also be hurtful. No matter how much I want that person to just forgive me, they can’t seem to open their mouth. I was really mad at my mom one day. It sticks out because I normally talk a lot with her in the car. We had gotten into a big argument over college and where I wanted to go. I was so mad that I could hardly talk without crying, so I just didn’t talk. I knew I couldn’t ignore her forever, but for that moment, it was the right thing for me to do. Eventually I calmed down enough to tell her that I was sorry and that next time we would try to work out our differences without a full blown argument.

Silence can also be awkward. The first time I went to my brother’s house to stay the night, we weren’t really sure what to say to each other. There were questions we both wanted to know the answer to but neither of us could break the silence. Instead, we played video games. That’s how we communicated that night. Our conversation started to flow as I kicked his butt at Mario Kart. He still thinks that I cheated because he had been practicing, but that night broke the silence. Now we can talk for hours about school and work and college and whatever else we think of. Other times we just enjoy each others company by playing video games and the only words said are “Quit cheating!” and “Common Slow-Poke!”

I believe silence is a virtue and everyone just has to take it as it is. Silence can be good or bad. It is something to learn from whether it be the silent conversation between father and daughter, the angered silence between mother and daughter, or the awkward conversation between siblings. I know now that the silence I’ve experienced has made me a better person. I just hope that silence works the same way for everyone else. It a lesson that is learned over time and none will master it. We just all have to keep trying.