Shut up and listen: Silence offers loudest form of reflection

By Cody Soto, Guest Columnist

For anyone who knows me, they know I’m never quiet. My laugh projects across the room, my volume is sometimes too loud and my personality can sometimes be a lot bigger than it needs to be.

In almost 21 years, the art of silence has always been my weakness.

In my mind, silence used to have a negative connotation. If I was told to be silent, I immediately got upset. Since then, I’ve come to realize just how powerful silence can be.

Not only is the lack of sound peaceful to the ears, but it also is peaceful to the mind. After a long day of classes and work, I normally walk into my quiet apartment and instantly find peace.

The world around us is loud, and most of the noise is not healthy. So many times when I try to work, I overhear an unintellectual conversation or a nasty comment. Why are so many people talking about pointless stuff?

Silence allows me to push out negative or useless messages out, and then I can focus on myself and my goals for the day.

But that’s what sometimes makes me hate the silence.

Grammy Award-winning artist Pink’s song “Sober” says, “The quiet scares me ‘cause it screams the truth,” and that couldn’t be more accurate to me.

Many of us hate being in silence because it causes us to think about ourselves. We think of our failures and how we want to prove ourselves. So many negative and anxious thoughts cloud my mind when I am not talking, but I choose to not let it control me.

Silence is my time to do other things. The past will be something to look back on, but more importantly, I’m looking toward my future. The silence helps me prepare. Three years in college have helped me overcome the fear of remaining quiet. For me, a clear mind lies in the future of those who choose to listen.

Not only does the silence benefit me, but it also helps my relationships with others. What I’ve come to realize though is this: Sometimes the quietest people have the most impactful words on your heart. The quiet people spend so much time thinking, and in turn the most important words come out of their mouths.

Staying silent around friends isn’t a bad thing. With your friends, family and people you communicate with on a daily basis, allow silence to clear your conversations and make them meaningful.

Finally, the silence helps me grow closer to God. I’ve always struggled with sitting in the Chapel and praying for more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time without becoming uneasy.

But that’s when my loyalty to God is being put to the test.

God wants to spend time with me in silence. He wants my undivided attention, and it’s up to me to give it to Him. At the end of the day, sitting in silence with God makes it all worth it. Among my crazy lifestyle, the tranquility helps me regain focus.

So, the next time you find yourself in a quiet area or situation, embrace it. There aren’t many places in this world that will provide you with the opportunity to find yourself. Let the silence do the talking.

It speaks when words can’t.

Cody Soto is a senior journalism major from Poth. He is a former sports writer for the Lariat.