Silence

Those of you that know me…or even if you just met me…know one major fact about me.

I like to talk.  A lot.

I’ve heard a story from when I was a child.  I had just seen a movie and then went to my grandparents house where I began to explain every single detail of the movie to my grandmother.  I could tell from the look I was getting that I was talking too much.  So, in order to get one more oh-so-important detail in there, I said, “Granny, can I just tell you this one last thing before you tell me to shut up?”  Case in point – I talk too much.

I’m not saying I always go on and on and on talking forever while you’re standing there looking at your watch or trying to figure out a way to get out of this conversation.  I know those people and [I sincerely hope] I am definitely not one of them.  I like to think of myself as a very aware talker…meaning that I know when enough is enough and I don’t typically cross the line from interesting to god awful boring.  I don’t think.  Do I?

Regardless, I’m a people person.  I like to chat – get to know people – joke around and share a few laughs – whatever.  I always have been.  One of my favorite things is to just have conversations with people [that I want to], no matter how long or short those conversations may be.  It interests me and it keeps me connected.

Now, my fault – there are often times my talking interrupts my thinking.  (Insert joke here about how you’re surprised I think at all…)  But it’s true.  You know those moments when your mouth gets away from you?  I am that poster child.

But there are few moments when I’m left speechless.  When I simply can’t find the words to explain what I’m thinking/feeling.  I experienced one of those times last night.

“I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.” – Chaim Potok, The Chosen

I was honored to be asked to do a video promotion for an upcoming Fairness West Virginia event. [You should check them out by clicking on their name!]  The company in charge of the media [the wonderful 84 Agency] came to Charleston and we shot the promo in the FWV office.  I did what was needed – we had a great time and some [a lot of] mess ups that gave some good laughs.  And then it happened…

I was asked the question I have heard so many answers to already – “What does fairness mean to you?”

……………………[absolute silence]……………………….

Seriously, I have heard people answer this question a million times.  I knew the answers – I knew how those answers also applied to my own life – but that wasn’t enough.  Instead, after I cussed a little at them for asking me this question, I sat and stared at them.

With the camera rolling…I was silent…

You know those questions that sound so easy to answer…until you’re asked them?  That was this moment.  What do I think of when I hear the word ‘fair’?  How does this apply to my own life?  And – most importantly – why?!

I shared my answer.  I shared how fairness means being able to love my partner and my child just the same.  I shared how fairness means I can be who I know I am on a daily basis without regret, shame, or fear.  Fairness is living in a world where this homosexuality “issue” is no longer an issue at all.  [And trust me – that was *much* more eloquent than how I sputtered and spewed it out to them]

In that moment of silence, I was able to look at how the idea of fairness would shape my life – and I truly realized its importance.  It’s funny – the millions of times I have heard these answers and I never took the time to *really* think how it would apply to my own life.  And I doubt I’m the only one…

So, what does fairness mean to you?  Feel free to share – there’s no better time to really think on that than the present.  You’ll be surprised with what you find deep inside…

[SAJ]

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