WARNING: Mentions of suicide and self-harm. Please do not read if you are easily triggered.
This post is meant to be read in complete silence.
A music teacher always told his students that silence is the most powerful sound in music. I, too, believe that silence is extremely powerful, but not in the way that teacher had intended for it to be.
Outside of the United States, when a person of a lower respects someone of a higher rank, they remain completely silent while they are speaking. Here in the United States, it’s something that is taught but never really enforced. It doesn’t have the same meaning or intention. Silence means you have succumbed to something.
Everyday in schools children yell at each other “Nobody likes a snitch!” or “Stop tattling!” These children who hear this too often just want to be accepted by their peers. They fall into a spiral of never expressing when someone has mistreated them or done something wrong in general. Many adolescents never reach out to anyone when they get bullied or when they see someone get bullied. This has led to many of them who are so young and so innocent to hurt themselves, or even worse, kill themselves.
Silence is a cry for help.
And this isn’t something that applies to children, either. When they grow up they’ll still have the same mindset and they won’t open up to anyone about who has treated them in a way they do not appreciate or makes them feel uncomfortable. When they go to work and their boss abuses them they won’t be able to tell anybody. They will feel like they are “snitching”.
How awful must that be? The solitude of being the only one that knows your own pain. It hurts and builds up. It eats away at your life piece by piece until there’s nothing left. It keeps growing until it’s the only thing inside you; you’re just a face without words and an inside that hurts.
So you clicked on this this post to find out why silence is undermined in America. If you haven’t figured out by now, I don’t like silence in America. I want noise and expression and freedom and charisma, not being confined to speaking only when spoken to or being kept quiet for others’ benefit. I want the world to flourish with the colors of the words that are spoken.
I want noise.