I finished reading the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain recently. For one thing, it was a very heavily-researched book. I can’t believe how well-researched it was. The book is just like the title in that there is a lot of writing. Luckily, the writing is justified. It made me feel a little bit better about being an introvert after reading the book, because I started thinking about how much power the introvert has. Introverts can rule their world in a way. One of my favorite quotations from the book is based on a proverb that says, “Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.” The quote is by Lao Zi. Of course, this is not universally true on all levels. There are some people who do speak and do know. But, generally, there is so much unnecessary chatter. There is always a constant pressure to speak, to talk, to communicate. I feel this the most, unsurprisingly, when with other people. If I know them and do not talk to them, it is considered rude. I can understand this. But why the need to always be talking? Why can’t silence be a virtue in itself? I recommend this book to all who feel the need to talk when they do not want to, for those who feel perfectly fine exploring life in a quieter-than-socially-accepted demeanor. I do also wonder if some people are afraid to not speak. Are they worried it will reveal a lack of intelligence? Somehow, we have all gotten onto the idea that not to talk means that there are no thoughts in the head. The proverb tells us otherwise. Still, there must be something that points in this direction. Why are we so afraid of the silence? Is it because of social stigma? Or, perhaps, does it go deeper? Are people afraid to be quiet because, in silence, there is no one to save you from your own thoughts?
Reader, what do you think? Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? Are you comfortable with where you are?
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