Monday, November 12, 2012

Learning to Shut Up

Salam 'Alaikum,

My mouth is a strange creature. It is a mostly silent one, especially during the holidays, when it rarely speak more than necessary words to both parents and siblings. It is a dormant volcano waiting for the right impulses to erupt. And when it did, oh boy, it's hard to plug it.

It will erupt once my mouth is around comfortable faces and voices. My confidence barometer will rise up until the hand inside it will swerve way past the acceptable limit. My mouth will talk and talk and talk and talk until every other voices are silenced by it. Conversations will evolve into a one-way speech. My audiences, once active with enjoyment, now become docile listeners hanging to every words of my lips. Or do they? Perhaps they just keep quiet out of respect. Or maybe out of pity? Seeing how this boy is so lonely cooped up in his house that, once he got company to talk to, he became a merciless talking machine. He longed for some company, they thought, why not let 'im talk?

Sometimes there are moments, when I talk with confidence, I will think of myself of some kind of brilliant talker. I will use metaphors, allusions, hints, fantastic tales, hyperboles and every other literary techniques ever known by man just to illustrate a simple point. Those who are close to me will get the meaning of what I said, but most of the time, I'd leave a trail of dazzled and confused listeners not knowing of what the hell I'm talking about. In the end, a simple speech of mine became some kind of a puzzle with lots of interpretation and answers.

There are moments when my mouth chose to remain shut. This will likely to occur when I'm around people I'm not comfortable with. In other words, people who I can't share my world with. It is during these times of spending with this kind of people that I spend my time shutting my mouth and observe. I let the other person talk. If he doesn't care that I remain mute, the better it is for me. This may made me look like a stupid person. And that fellow talking may even think that I'm dumb. I don't care what he thinks. I don't live and breath on people's, especially strangers', impression. I'm not the kind of a guy who seeks attention.

Choosing to remain silent gave me a better opportunity to be more observant. Nothing is clearer than when you shut your own voice to tune in with the world's. Perhaps that's what I should do with everybody, not just people I'm not close to. Shut up listen to all the voices around me. I want to be a faithful listener that every talker in the world dreamed of; the man who would be trusted to listen to anything without spilling them out someplace somewhere; a Swiss bank for all the stories that are waiting out there to be told of.

It's gonna be hard, but I'll try.

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