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I’d Like to Thank My Cats

This is part of my experiment to write regularly and publish every day with the help of 365 Days of Writing Prompts. Today’s prompt: “You are receiving an award –- either one that already exists, or a new one created just for you. What would the award be, why are you being honored, and what would you say in your acceptance speech?”

I would like to thank the organizer so much for presenting this award, The Least Talkative Person Award to me.

Apparently, I am receiving this award because I am the least talkative person. And since I am holding an award, I take it that they see me being the least talkative as a good thing, and I thank them for that. I am also honored as I have heard that they have created a new award just for me, after they have sorted through a whole bunch of “best leader”, “most liked”, etc. and found nothing like this award. Let me assure them that their effort is worthy.

As a quiet person, it is rare to receive recognition for one’s low amount of talking. Let’s face it. Our society values talking. At meetings, attendees often fight for the chance to talk, interrupting each other when necessary. After all, the prevalent thinking is that those who talk the most know their stuff. They are hard-workers. They are leaders. On the other said, people who talk the least are either forgotten or viewed negatively. I have heard the saying that if you have not talked three times in a meeting, it has the same benefit to you as if you were not there at all. You might as well not attend.

Recently though, somehow, we have managed to make a small crack in the conventional thinking mindset. Introverts, for example, often prefer staying out of the crowd, reading books instead of talking to people, and so on. Prolonged interaction with people, especially talking, and tire them out. But thanks to best-selling books such as Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, we have collectively gained a lot of insights about people who do not talk as much. Yes, they are quieter, but they can still succeed in their own ways. They can be as successful as, if not more successful than, extroverts in many areas. I am glad that my organization sees that.

I would like to thank all the talkative people. It is because of them that I stand out. After all, if we had lived in a parallel universe where everyone talked very little, then the outcome would have been very different, and I would not have been holding this award. There might not be a point for creating this award in the first place.

I would also like to thank all the people who have asked me during meetings if I have anything to say. They have, figuratively, gently pushed aside for the other people who fight for attention so that I have a chance to talk at all. Sometimes I feel like I am not ready to talk even though I have something to say. I take that as a challenge, though, and promise to do better next time.

Above all, I would like to thank those who accept me as a non-talkative person. They see the unique opportunities that a non-talkative person can bring to the table. They accept alternatives, such as letting my writing and my work to speak for myself, rather than making me pretend to be like every other talkative person. They do not blindly push me to talk for the sake of it. And when I do talk, they listen because they know I spend more time thinking about what I have to say. In this organization, I have found a lot of supportive people. I am very grateful for every one of them.

Thank you again for giving me this award, and I really appreciate it.