It’s 2-2, a tie between the guard and I. Tomorrow will decide who wins this week’s I-came-to-work-first game. It was past 8 am when I reached the office.

Someone switched off the lights when I was inside the comfort room cubicle. Not again! I thought. I get this lights-switched-off and doors-locked because of I-thought-no-one-was-there. It’s not a source of irritation. It’s amusing, actually, how a person my size would be mistaken for space. It’s just an observation.

I was informed that it wasn’t the bulk but rather the sound (or lack of it) of me. I don’t remember who but someone did describe me as too quiet (even when in motion) to the point that I seemed to cease existing. I never did understand what s/he meant. I’ll take that as compliment, I guess.

The aunt did share that the neighbors were very surprised to see a toddler appear in the area. Usually, the loud seemingly endless cries from an infant would notify them of a new addition to the neighborhood. Not in my case.

During childhood, it was instilled in us. Silence was a form of respect. With silence one allowed people to get one with their daily routine without disturbance.

With silence, we listened as the elders went on with their conversation, recognizing the wisdom in their words – in whatever form they come. The children’s participation would be the nodding and the head turning side to side  – wherever the current speaker may be.

In silence, we learned to sense, to feel other people emotions. Stress and anxiety, loneliness,  troubled stillness, nearing outburst – each had their own silence to accompany them. Same with the lack of silence. Of course, there were also silence for peace and serenity, contentment, and for being lost in one’s thoughts. Yes, there was also silence in good things.

With silence came humility. There’s recognition for  one’s false and faults.

As we got older, silence also became an expression of dislike, disagreement, and contempt. The thing with silence, there’s a lot of silences to communicate a wide range of  thoughts and emotions.

The tricky thing is unlike spoken words, silence is hard to correct. It’s difficult to control. It easily misinterpreted. It’s hard to recall.

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