by Alicia Lynch
Silence can be torture. Those moments when you are completely alone somewhere and all you can hear is the buzzing of whatever electronic device is within range; a refrigerator, a computer, a fan. That and the wandering voice in your mind; your thoughts. You are thinking about whatever is most important to you at the moment, or whatever you are most worried or anxious about. Your wandering voice will sometimes snap back to whatever you are supposed to be doing at the moment, whatever you should be doing; writing an essay, paying bills, studying, cleaning. But it always wanders away again, being drawn back to the things you really want to be thinking about; when you are going to see them again, whoever it is you can’t stop thinking about. Or you go over conversations you have had recently with friends, old and new. Maybe wondering what they might have meant by that thing they said to you the other day. Or wondering what that new friend thinks of you based on how they talked to you. Human beings’ thoughts usually seem to gravitate around the subject of other human beings. We don’t always think about other people though; we also think about whether or not we will be able to pay the phone bill, or about that awesome party the other night. These wandering thoughts, no matter what they are about whether it be people, problems, or material things, usually come in the almost silent, electric buzz-filled moments of our life.
Conversation breaks the silence. When you are talking to someone, your mind is in the moment. It anchors you to a certain thought process so you don’t float into the vast recesses of your mind. The focus of your mind’s eye is almost exclusively on the moment and the subject of which you are talking. Whether the conversation makes your day better or worse, it makes you feel something, gives you a relief from the no-gravity sensation of silent thoughts. It makes your day eventful and passes the time, as opposed to the nothingness that accompanies you when you are by yourself.
The best conversations are the ones you have with people who love to make your day. The ones whose faces light up when they see you, and whom must immediately come up to you to give you a big hug. Earnest, caring hugs will always plant a seed of good thoughts in your mind. Conversations with huggers leave you feeling special. They will usually ask how you are doing, or compliment you, or if they have somewhere to go they will politely smile at you and tell you to have a wonderful day. At this point, the silent torture has disappeared from your memory and you are left with a giddy, ecstatic sensation that starts in your stomach and flutters outwards all the way to your fingertips, toes and straight up to the crown of your head, causing you to smile. This can only be labeled as happiness. Pure and simple.
It is a wonder how easily a hugger can give you this, because there are so many people who are stuck in a state of sadness and do everything in their power to try to be happy, but they just can’t. They need a hugger; a professional miracle grower of happiness to plant laughter in their belly and water it every day with a hug and a smile until they grow and blossom into the happy person they have every right to be.
Purposeful sincerity is required for good conversation. Have you ever had a conversation with someone, and in the middle of the conversation you find yourself wondering if the other person is really hearing what you are saying? Hearing the meaning, the feeling behind your words? They seem to be simply processing your words and responding accordingly, like they are conversing with you for the sake of being able to talk about whatever they want to talk about. They seem callous and selfish, but in the end you both want the same thing; for someone to listen. An earnest conversation requires give and take; a two way street of simultaneously listening sincerely and speaking truthfully. Absent, insincere, unmeaningful conversations are no good to you and a waste of time. You are probably better off with your silent thoughts than in those kind of conversations.
We have the power to shatter the silence. To fill up the empty galaxy of our brains with constellations made of conversation, hugs, compliments, smiles, sincerity, and truthfulness. We have the power to destroy the black holes of sadness, loneliness, callousness, and insincerity.
by Alicia Lynch