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Personally, I don’t think silence is golden. For me, when people are silent, they’re hiding something. Can something hiding pain be golden?
The Oxford dictionary defines silence as the complete lack of noise or sound. This refers to both living and non-living things alike. Since we are human, let’s stick to the definition of these words limited to humans. It still means a complete lack of noise or sound.
Have you ever heard of anything where humans are involved and there is no sound? Let’s start with the good things, when humans are happy, they party, celebrate, even if it is just one person celebrating its never silent.
When they are sad, they shout, vent out their anger, maybe a few curse words here and there – a shout for help but it is never silent. I remember at school, my teacher always kept asking for pin-drop silence, but I doubt she ever got it.
In my complete existence, or ever since I can remember, I have never experienced silence. When near the beach, I could always hear the loud sound of waves. At work, there was the chattering. And while travelling, there is some random music. I really don’t think I ever experienced complete silence and I have a feeling that very few would have experienced it themselves.
But today, I experienced silence. An empty room inside an empty house, no chattering of neighbours, all windows are closed due to the covid scare. I was all alone sitting in the dark, due to the power cut and there it was complete silence.
In the last few months, all the bickering, the laughter and chit-chatting has died, people hardly venture out of their homes. You only hear the occasional sound of some delivery truck – delivering groceries or food or some necessities.
Did corona help us achieve the inevitable? I am sure my old teacher still hasn’t got her pin-drop silence. And because I saw it, even if for a few fleeting seconds, let me tell you, it was scary.
Now coming to the actual topic.
‘Silence is golden,’ is a proverbial saying, often used in circumstances where it is thought that saying nothing is preferable to speaking. The complete saying actually is ‘Speech is silver, silence is golden.’ But why is it so?
I feel that silence is not golden, especially after I experienced it. For me, silence is when people don’t talk and when they don’t talk, in my experience, they become more stressed. Talking is the easiest way to share and gives you a sense of trust and companionship.
Every time I think of silence, I feel it is used to hide facts and true feelings. How can something be golden when there is so much evil hidden behind it?
Sometimes silence also means hiding pain. When someone suddenly goes quiet, people ask them what is wrong. The ones who know you know that it is not a good sign, that is means the person is going through something. And when the person still doesn’t open up, in a few days, people see the consequences.
What happens next is that the person bursts out, letting out all their raw feelings of sadness, resentment or anger. Or the person slowly sinks into themself, they don’t talk to anyone or share their pain and slowly, everyone goes away. There is no one left to ask them if everything is okay. I feel like the first option is the better one since the person is actually opening up.
Well, I know I am no one to question an age-old proverb but I do have the freedom of speech and I just want to say, that in some cases it may be right. Like when your words have the capability to hurt someone, silence is golden, but not always. Some times, praising someone for their efforts or appreciating someone for something they did for you. Or even spending a few minutes with someone, asking them how they feel, consoling them. These are times when silence isn’t golden.
I can’t force my thoughts on anyone, everyone can judge for their own selves, however, I would say, you could keep this in mind. Who knows, you might just earn some more brownie points on your next Christmas gift from Santa!
Speak up and help others share their stores too! You might uncover something you’ve never known or you might end up helping someone when they need it. So the next time you see someone become sad, especially if you know them, spend some time with them.
Put your phone away and talk to them about anything – the weather, some new accessory or car or even cats! But make sure you talk, make sure that the person doesn’t stay quiet because in cases like these, silence is black and dark. And remember what physics says? Black is usually the absence of any colour and to me, that is bad. Really bad.
Thank you for reading this. I really appreciate it.
Picture credits: Still from Marathi TV series Agga Bai Sasubai
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