Being silent can be a sign of reaching a realization or the acceptance of an issue that has been troubling to the soul. Silence is never an unacceptable form of communication. It allows you to be able to think and voice your opinion without any hindrance. When you are silent, it seems as if the whole world stops. Everyone stops moving, life slows down and your mind starts to wander. You wonder why you are experiencing this out of body phenomenon and what essentially caused it until a single noise causes you to wake up. Being awake you start to realize that reality is not what you make of it. It is constructed of different fragments. Some of those fragments contain myths, others are made with facts about the world around us and the people that encompass it, and others are created with the sheer identity that you create for yourself.
Throughout my entire life, I was taught that my voice is my weapon. My voice has the ability to defend me and what I stand for as well as be a defining factor in how I deserve to be treated in society. It has the ability to raise its levels from soft to loud and bring justice to those in need. It has the power to move mountains of people and sway opinions. I have never been silent for a long period of time, especially when it comes to important issues that I advocate for strongly.
Growing up in a white concentrated town, I was not granted the ability to be among people that looked like me. I attended a predominantly white institution that had strong beliefs and values that contradicted my own. In every honors course or gifted program, I enrolled in, I would be the only person of color in the room. When talking about trivial issues, I am always the representative that could vouch for what the instructor was teaching. A school is a place where you are able to expand your knowledge and be able to learn from others. It should not be a place where you are hindered from learning from your mistakes and growing into the person you want to become.
I realized the power of silence was a way for people to not only communicate but to protest injustice. Injustice does not have to take place on a macro scale, but a micro one. On a micro scale, you are able to create more of a lasting impression on the individuals and create the change you desire. My silence had power and it was a dignifying force that signified that I would not put up with their prejudice against people of color. Silence can be a defining force in the way that we communicate, and it can expound on the severity of our beliefs and values and influence how we act towards one another and how we create change within society.
- By Alexa Waheed,
- Alexa Waheed is a student trustee at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, IL. If you have any questions or comments about her article you may contact Alexa at firstname.lastname@example.org.