Tuesday, April 21, 2020

On Silence Garnering Respect

Soon he essentially stopped talking. "I am retreating into silence as a defensive mode," he mentioned. Eventually, he was down to uttering just five words, and only to guards: yes; no; please; thank you. "I am surprised," he wrote, "by the amount of respect this garners me. That silence intimidates puzzles me. Silence is to me normal, comfortable." Later he added, "I will admit to feeling a little contempt for those who can't keep quiet."

Excerpt from The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit
by Michael Finkel



Mei said...

Perhaps it is the unknown that garners fear that pretends to be respect? I am one that does not chat easily so I can say I feel as the author if only just a little concerning those who feel silence is a bad thing.

Zeri Kyd said...

Mei, apologies for the late reply. I always look forward to your comments, partly because they're so poetic. I read this weeks ago, but must have forgotten to respond. This was an interesting book, and you might like it. What I found amusing about this quote was the tactic to reply very politely but briefly, and that -- although this was a defense to stop questioning -- it ended up pleasing others, who probably didn't care about the full answers anyway.