To all those, silent and uncelebrated, who have cultivated the rarified sensibility to actually keep quiet and somewhat restrained in public space, while the rest of us are mired in a world seemingly populated with folk oblivious to any sense of knowing when to shut the hell up. These decent, humane individuals are everywhere, but under-appreciated. Let us notarize them :
- For the nice people in the movie theater, who bide their waiting time in quiet, personal conversation rather than hollering answers at the obtrusively projected adverts or indulging in boisterously ill-informed deconstruction of the film you are about to see - to those people, thank you for your uncanny sense of decorum.
- For the subdued dentists, who opt not to start a complicated dialogue about geo-political trends, or the state of public education, or a Q & A session about your pet while you have numerous dental instruments hanging/spraying/protruding from your mouth - thank for your excellent restraint in verbosity.
- For all people at dinner and café tables everywhere who have the good sense and proper manner to actually not continue screaming into their poorly-connected cellular phone but instead rather take this one-way conversational intrusion outside - to them, thank you for your seasoned and well-timed departure.
- For all the countless students in classes the world over who opted not to ask the glaringly obvious question which drones on for ten minutes and often starts something like, '…umm…well, I haven't actually done the reading but based on my wide range of personal experience and genuflection I'd just like to make a few points - blah blah blah…' - to those souls, thank you for wise & specialized silence.
As a culture, at least on this continent, these are increasingly rare and special people. Props to them.