i love silence. it's a source of peace, and a comfort that provides me with the space to think, without the input of ambient music or the chatter of television. of course, i am talking about silence by choice. silence for the purpose of refreshment. yet there is another type of silence. the silence that is not a choice. the silence that doesn't refresh but suffocates. the silence that is a tool to oppress and to erase the evidence of oppression. the silence onto death.
it's the silence that rings in the ruins of the nazi holocaust. it's the silence of racism that cuts deep in the memory of history. it's the silence that lays in the wake of war. it's the silence that is the company of battered women. it's the silence of a wasteland that once was a rain forest. it's the silence in places where rape victims carry the guilt of their rape. it's the silence of the closet door sealed by intimidation. it's the silence of ashes.
"there is a time for everything under the heavens...a time to keep silence, and a time to speak". wisdom is found in knowing what the time calls for us to do.
when people are denied their freedom, it is a time to speak. when people are not allowed to express their truth but have their truth dictated to them, it is a time to speak. when the innocent are abused, it is a time to speak. when labor becomes slavery, it is a time to speak. when the earth is used beyond reason or need, it is a time to speak.
but who will speak for those without freedom, such as the people locked away in the concentration camps of north korea? and who will speak for those who are demonized and thus dehumanized, such as gay people in many places across our globe? and who will speak for the victimized, such as the children who quietly quiver in too many homes? and who will speak for the voiceless, such as the animals whose habitat are vanishing with each passing day? indeed who will speak for the silence that cries out not to be silent? will the who be you?
remember, our silence will not protect us.
© 2010 Halley Low