Embarrassed by Silence
--by Mitch Albom (Nov 20, 2000)
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 whispher. "What's happening here?" he asks. And slowly a discussion begins -- as Morrie has 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? -- Mitch Albom, from "Tuesdays With Morrie"