This I Believe

Kristin - Piedmont, California
Entered on June 13, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I am 17 years old, a senior in High School, and I am not a quiet person. In fact, I am an actress, a loud outspoken person with a lot to say to a lot of people.

A few weeks ago I heard that the “Day of Silence” was coming up, and I felt the need to participate. The “Day of Silence,” in its essence, is a way to echo the silence that is caused by harassment, prejudice, and discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people. This is important to me. Even though I am a heterosexual female, I think that these people who have been discriminated against need a voice to speak out, or in this case to not speak at all.

The day started off harder than expected. My first period was A cappella and in A cappella you have to sing. So I decided to mouth the words, which turned out to be quite hilarious when I was complemented on my staccato by my unbeknownst

A cappella teacher.

I continued my day, writing only the most important things in a small notebook I kept with me.

I believe in the beauty of silence. I realized something that day. The world does not need words. I sat in my classes looking at my peers and listing to all of the white noise humans make. Jokes, screams, How was your weekend this or I got such a bag grade that. We, as a society, take so much time and effort to talk, to really not say anything at all.

My acting teacher once said, “Words in and of themselves mean nothing, emotion is everything,” this was probably pertaining to whatever Chekhovian scene we were doing at the time, but that day I realized that it also pertains to everyday life. So much can be said with a nod of the head or a glance, a whole picture of life can be painted with a smile. Why use words when you have facial expressions.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not criticizing the powers that language and verbal communication hold, but just for a day, to sit, and think, and laugh in complete silence is so refreshing, even for someone like me who tends to be a loud-mouth at times.

People kept on coming up to me, asking how I could be silent, stating that they would never be able to not talk. I just smiled and nodded, and thought, how could you be talking, when there is so much in the world to listen to.