Prompt: Susan Sontag, AB'51, wrote that "ilence remains, inescapably, a form of speech." Write about an issue or situation when you remained silent, and explain how silence may speak in ways that you remained silent, and explain how silence may speak in ways that you did or did not intend. "The Aesthetics of Silence" (1967)
After being silent for so long, I have forgotten that I have a voice. "Can I have this candy, Rahul" "Sure", "I'm going to take this" "Go right ahead, I don't mind", "You are going to do this math program, whether you like it or not" "Uuuhh..."(silence) I have always questioned myself whether I will ever find my voice and speak out on my behalf. While many consider silence to be a treasure, I find it to be a punishment. Throughout my life, as far as I could remember, people have been deciding what is right or wrong for me without my consent. People have bullied me when I didn't have the power to fight back. My silence has forced
Four years ago, I had an argument with my parents filled with bickering and insults that lasted nearly for a month. I guess the phrase, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" perfectly fits this period of my life. As always the argument was a result of my education. Having Indian parents' means that I must get straight A's in all my classes, no exceptions. I was in the middle of doing my homework when my mom called me.
"Rahul, I've been noticing that you've been playing more than the allowed time on your phone. Have you noticed your grades lately," narrated my mother.
"Mom, I have A's in most of my classes, I only have two B's," I replied.
"Why are you trying to argue with me?"
"Wait what, I was merely saying that I have been working and I only have two B's, when was I trying to argue with you?"
The next two hours resulted in a back and forth argument between my mother that resulted in rolling of the eyes and deep sighs. I was not able to argue with her because I knew whatever I say would be considered as back-talking and meaningless. People have been dictating whatever I do, and how my future would play out. For the next month or so, I chose to mask my emotions from my parents in fear that if I say something, I will only spark the flames. Whenever I met my mother's gaze, I would quickly avert in fear that the situation would be brought up again. Silence may be bliss for many, but unfortunately for me, it is not. I did not intend my silence to effect me in a adverse way. To me, my silence was an act of peace, to show them respect, but to my parents, my silence conveyed the message that I was vulnerable to their commands. They had the power to dictate my actions. My silence has caused my voice to be squelched in the presence of my parents.
My culture and religion play vital roles in my life. I consider myself to be deeply integrated with my indian culture. My religion, Hinduism, has taught me to be unselfish and to avoid discriminating others for what they believe in. Many people have discriminated me on my religion but I could not do anything because I knew that if I did, there would be unintended consequences. My unforgettable experience happened at the Health and Science School.
It's one thing when someone else bullied you, but it's a completely different feeling when your closest friends do racist actions in a condescending way. For eight months, I had to endure what started off as a joke but soon turned for the worst when they would constantly perform classical dancing in a way to mock me and my culture. I tried to ignore them but it was no use, they would text me links to classical dances and ask me where's the red dot on my forehead, thinking that I would feel hurt. At times I thought of staying home from school in fear of being harassed. Through all this discrimination I endured, I did not fight back and remained silent. I believed that if I start insulting them or consult a teacher, I will be labeled as someone who cannot handle a few negative words. The unintended consequence from me being silent was that my closest friends engaged in discriminating me so much that I felt insecure about myself. Since I did not tell anyone about this problem, my "friends" figured out that they will not get in trouble no matter how much they insult me.Suspended for creating multiple threads on the same topic.