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No Talking

The power of the powerless

By Sarah GlassPublished 11 months ago 3 min read
No Talking
Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

My mom became a teacher when I was starting fifth grade and she loved to read. She's the reason I love reading and writing.

She was always finding new middle-grade books for all four of us kids to enjoy, especially audiobooks for the long drives to see family in Virginia.

One book she read and recommended to me was the book "No Talking" by Andrew Clements. I was in seventh grade at the time. The moment I opened that book I knew I'd be tucking it inside my textbooks to read during classes.

And it taught me these three things:

1. It's not about "this" vs. "that"

2. There is power among the powerless

3. We get in our own way to making change

Here's the book blurb:

"It’s boys vs. girls when the noisiest, most talkative, and most competitive fifth graders in history challenge one another to see who can go longer without talking. Teachers and school administrators are in an uproar until an innovative teacher sees how the kids’ experiment can provide a terrific and unique lesson in communication. In No Talking, Andrew Clements portrays a battle of wills between some spunky kids and a creative teacher with the perfect pitch for elementary school life that made Frindle an instant classic."

(By the way, I LOVED Frindle as well).

If you were only allowed to use three words or less in order to communicate, you would very quickly find out how very few words are needed in order to get your point across.

Body language plays a big part in this as well. If I told my husband "I love you," but had my head down, arms limp, and a sad look on my face, do I truly mean it? Perhaps something's wrong.

Not only that, it's also about the way you say things that can communicate the same words differently.

I find it incredibly interesting how the simple rises and falls of our voices portray more about how we feel and the meaning behind the words than the words themselves.

So, let me get back to the three things that the book taught:

Originally, in the book, it was boys vs. girls to see who could speak less and be the quietest. It was a way for the boys to finally prove that it was the girls who talked the most and vice versa.

By the end of the book, however, they find themselves working together and it's no longer about boys vs. girls. (I won't spoil it for you if you haven't read it).

But here's what's stuck with me since reading that book:

What would happen if we applied this same way of thinking today, especially when you think of the issues we have that are desperately in need of change?

Sadly, we give the government more power than it actually has. A star isn't a star unless you give them a stage to stand on.

Truthfully, if we pushed aside our biases, politics, the "if's, and's, and but's," if every person in [America] (or the entire world depending on the issue) decided to do or stop doing one thing that didn't break any laws, we've essentially taken the stage away.

Now what can the government do to us?

What this book taught me was if people, despite our skin color, sex, religion, etc., simply came together, we could move mountains.

But the more we fight amongst ourselves, disagree, point fingers, play the blame game, and segregate ourselves from one another...the bigger the wedge becomes between you and me.

And the one phrase that keeps the people from taking action is this:

"Yeah, but that'll never happen."

And here's what I have to say to that:

"Not with that attitude."

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About the Creator

Sarah Glass

It started with FFX fanfiction stories and my love for creating a world to escape to when reality's teeth sank in too deep. I'm an artist, a dreamer, and I have an original story I've been working on for 8yrs. Time to get it published!

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    Sarah GlassWritten by Sarah Glass

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