A Day of Silence

Brice - Houston, Texas
Entered on December 16, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: disability
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Patience is a virtue of which I barely have,I’m the type of person that when faced with a waiting game I fail. I’m the type of person that if there is a slow driver in front of me and I have a bigger car I’m very tempted to ram into them. I’m the type of person that can find a flaw with any solution, that can debate successfully against most any statement and I use those abilities to the fullest extent by debating with teachers and pointing out possible issues with their assignments.

I would even say I debate my point too often but then one day the class was given an assignment to be blind for the whole day to try and find beauty without sight. Which I gladly accepted, but later I made the mistake of telling the teacher that I thought it would be harder for me to go a whole day without talking. He then said that I should be silent for a whole day. I really would have rather gone blind. One reason was to follow the assignment and the other was because I didn’t think I could go the whole day without talking but the damage was already done. This was one situation I couldn’t talk my way out of.

The morning of the assignment I was wondering how I would notice beauty in the way that the “blind” were, I saw my teacher talking with another teacher later that morning .I walked up to see what he would say, and ironically he joked about my silence being beautiful. At the time I shrugged the comment off but as I was going through my day that very comment sparked an idea. Beauty in silence can be found in nature when everything seems to stop or slow down and sound seems to drown out and you no longer are listening you’re just feeling and seeing what is happing. Those moments are beautiful and I noticed more moments like that in that one day than I had my whole life, because I wasn’t too busy proving a point to notice those moments.

The whole ordeal required more patients then I had, which made it even more frustrating. Trying to communicate via pen and paper my point wouldn’t even come into play until the subject was well forgotten. The interesting thing about being silent was that I was unnoticeable to the people that chose to go blind for the assignment. There was almost no way to communicate with them but I found a way, not “flawless” but a good rudimentary means of communication which required only yes/no questions from the blinded person, and a simple 1 tap yes, 2 taps no response. Witch would become annoying because the person with the ability to talk might not ask a certain question that you wish them to ask.

But in all I think it was a good and interesting experience that if given the opportunity to do it again I think I would, I learned 4 things that day; You can find beauty everywhere if you just look hard enough and be quiet. I need to be more patient. No matter how fast you write it will never be fast enough for a conversation were the other person can talk. And finaly I learned, people enjoy it when I don’t say anything.