This post is dedicated to Aaron Rosenthal. It is my hope that he goes through with this challenge.
I know, I know, it's been forever. I'm sorry, I got distracted and never finished. I have the attention span of a 5 year old boy, and am honestly amazed that I even managed four days of writing all together! Anyway, here it is, the much awaited (at least by one person) day five, and then some!
The morning was like any other. I got ready the same way I do, every day. I saw the same things, as I drove to work. There are these evangelists that stand on the corner outside of a mattress store with signs that say things like "Honk for Jesus" and "God's LOVE is enough." I always smile, and wave at them, but they are too busy shouting scripture to see me. There is a light I always get caught at, and I am always the first in line. There are two chubby boys, probably middle school aged, that use the crosswalk at this light, at this same time, every day. They are always eating Crackerjacks. There is a man who rides the city bus with his children, a boy and a girl. The little girl has so much soul. I always catch her waving her arms, clapping, and dancing. She reminds me of those crazy church choirs you see on TV...
I went to lunch with a friend I haven't seen in a while. (He asked me not to mention his name.) He didn't understand why I wasn't speaking, and really wasn't too crazy about the idea either. He said he refused to read my blog, because the entries were too long. Oh well. Since we hadn't seen each other in quite some time, we had a lot of catching up to do. He told me about what he's been doing lately, talked about work, our friends, etc. My thumbs moved as quickly as I could manage, to text responses to what he was saying, but mostly, I just listened. He was going through a hard time. He was uncertain about the future. He smiled a lot... that's usually how I can tell when he is worried.
After ending my week, I had so many things to say. I made a few phone calls immediately, talking to people about things that could not be said over a text or an email, but after that was finished, I pretty much stayed quiet. It was so weird. I felt guilty every time I spoke. I felt like I was doing something wrong. I kept looking around, all paranoid, as if someone were going to catch me, and turn me in to the silent police! I know it's not a big deal, but after convincing myself not to do something for so long, it seemed to make a huge difference!
Another strange feeling came with going places, and talking to people. Everything became so ordinary. When I wasn't speaking, most of the people I encountered were interested in the project. They all had something to say, or questions, most commonly starting with, "Why?" They were interested in me. It was a cool feeling, going into a store, or a Taco Bell, or whatever, and being the distraction of their days. I know, personally, from working jobs like that, and even in my current job, anything out of the ordinary is most welcomed. When I began to speak again, of course it was different for me, but the random people I met throughout this past week, had no idea. Normal interactions occurred. I just experienced something incredible, and I want everyone to know about it. I wish I could just pack cute little gift bags of understanding, and insight, and hand them out to the people I meet. I had gotten so used to everyone wanting to know everything, that it was a silly shocker, when people all of a sudden, didn't. I say silly, because that is how it has always been, but I say shocker, because now I see it, and I'm not okay with it.
I've always been interested in people. What we think, why we think those things, and what we do about them. I am still interested in people. Now, more than ever. I would have never known that the Target guy's sister was deaf, and the greatness of how it effected his life, if I were to respond to him in a normal fashion, on a normal day. I wouldn't have had the sadly funny, one way conversation with the soccer mom; And I can guarantee that my lunch date on Friday would not have opened up to me in such a way, if I were busy talking about myself, and the things going on in my life.
God has seriously blessed me through this. I have learned so many things. I cannot put understanding in a cute little bag for you, but I have typed it out to the best of my ability, and posted it here on my blog. I hope this has reached someone. I hope it makes a difference. If you think you can do it, I challenge you to a week of silence. A lot of people have messaged me saying they think it is a really cool idea, but they can't do it, because of their jobs. I said on the first day, I would be speaking at work, and I did. Did it take away from the project? Maybe a little. But it was still totally worth it! You read about all of the things that happened outside of my office, and that is just what I typed out! It has been a wonderful experience.
So if you think you're up to it, give it a go. And if not, well, think about some more. You may change your mind. It is only five days, and I promise it will change your world.