Though I think I've been a pretty good father, I certainly have not kept my mouth shut. Of course, I am a minister, so preaching is not out of the ordinary, and I am a professor, so lecturing is also somewhat in my blood. My children are somewhat cursed, I guess, by my verbal flatulence, though I did eventually learn the signs that I had said enough--blanks stares being what they are.
When my father was still alive, I often wished for more of a connection; more direction from him, more of a sense that he was actually there for me. He was there, but I rarely felt it. In his silence, I heard absence. In his silence, he found presence. It has taken me a long time to learn the difference.
I have learned more in and from silence than from nearly any other element of my life. Perhaps this is from my father, but more realistically it is from my own attempts at silence. Meditation requires a silencing of the mind. Good music relies on the silence between the notes. Hearing well requires a silencing of the ego. Peace of mind requires the silencing of demons. But the learning comes as much from trying to create the silence as in the silence itself. It is in my efforts to find silence that I see life more clearly. Silence is the reward for those moments of clarity.
So, shut up, Ben.