He enters the classroom, sits down, doesn't say anything. He looks at us, we look at him. At first, there are a few giggles, but Morrie only shrugs, and eventually a deep silence falls and we begin to notice the smallest sounds, the radiator humming in the corner of the room, the nasal breathing of one of the fat students.
Some of us are agitated. When is he going to say something? We squirm, check our watches. A few students look out of the window, trying to be above it all. This goes on a good fifteen minutes, before Morrie finally breaks in with a whisper.
"What's happening here?" he asks.
And slowly a discussion begins - as Morrie wanted all along - about the effect of silence on human relations. Why are we embarrassed by silence? What comfort do we find in all the noise?
I am not bothered by silence. For all the noise I make with my friends, I am still not comfortable talking about my feelings in front of others - especially not classmates. I could sit in the quiet for hours if that is what the class demanded.
On my way out, Morrie stops me. "You didn't say much today," he remarks.
I don't know. I just didn't have anything to add.
"I think you have a lot to add. In fact, Mitch, you remind me of someone I knew who also liked to keep things to himself when he was younger."
[Tuesdays With Morrie, Albom, M.]
- submitted by Angela Brignell