”In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends” (Martin Luther King Jr). Silence can be a deep form of expression, either in a good way or a bad one.
Silence can be a way of avoiding confrontation or just wanting to be in peace with oneself, but there are times when silence can hurt instead of heal. Silence is all around us, but it is up to you to either choose to speak up or remain in silence because of the potential effects. Silence can be in the form of ridicule, neglect and or to avoid confrontation because of fear. In ”Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder Didn’t Call the Police” by Martin Gansberg., silence is used in a hazardous manner because of the way people chose not to speak up. An innocent woman is stabbed to death near an apartment building where many people were aware of the situation but decided to remain silent. ”At 4:25 A.M when the ambulance arrived to take the body of Miss Genovese.
It drove off. Then a solemn police detective said ”the people came out (36)”. If only one person had picked up the phone and dialed 911 the moment they heard something that lady could have made it out alive. But sadly, they decided to speak up when the police demanded it from them, not when it was the humane thing to do. Another form of silence is to avoid confrontation. In ”What’s in a Name?” by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
, a man refers to Gates father as George, that not being his name, the father chooses to remain silent in order to prevent a scene in front of his son and a possible future conflict. ”He knows my name boy, he calls all colored people George (11)”. The father says to his son, which he handled very well, but in my case speaking up would have been just as good because that would have shown his son to stand up for himself and not let anyone ever walk all over him. In ”Mothers Tongue” by Amy Tan.
, silence is used to avoid ridicule, she was ashamed of her mother for not speaking English proficiently and referred to it as ”broken English”. ”My mother’s limited English limited my perception of her. I was ashamed of her English (9)”. But as she grew she learned that her mother taught her very much in life, and later on she spoke up for her mother, because her mother was not someone to be ashamed of but someone to look up to for all she had accomplished. Thanks to her mother she became who she is to this day. Silence can be used in many ways, some people use it as their form of communication, others to be in peace and in some occasions to prevent conflict, but a lot of the time people become silenced for the wrong reasons. Afraid of what will happen if they speak up or a fear of confrontation, and so they decide to ignore It and move on in life hoping it will disappear.
But what is even better then silence, is being a voice, a voice for you to speak up with and not be afraid of what will happen. In all these stories speaking up was the best way to go. It’s just about knowing when to speak up and when silence is key.