William Somerset Maugham ( MAWM; 25 January 1874 – 16 December 1965) was an English writer, known for his plays, novels and short stories. Born in Paris, where he spent his first ten years, Maugham was schooled in England and went to a German university. He became a medical student...
Silence is one of the great arts of conversation, as allowed by Cicero himself, who says, 'there is not only an art, but an eloquence in it.' A well bred woman may easily and effectually promote the most useful and elegant conversation without speaking a word. The modes of speech are scarcely more variable than the modes of silence.
When you're young, you always think you'll meet all sorts of wonderful people, that drifting apart and losing friends is natural. You don't worry, at first, about the friends you leave behind. But as you get older, it gets harder to build friendships. Too many defenses, too little opportunity. You get busy. And by the time you realize that you've lost the dearest best friend you've ever had, years have gone by and you're mature enough to be embarrassed by your attitude and, frankly, by your arrogance.
The skepticism of youth signals the beginning of a search for something actually worth trusting, both within one's own psyche and in the world. That's why teens, supposedly stuck in life's lost years, are often so unequivocal about what they love and what they hate, and so frustrated when they feel misunderstood. The adolescent spirit is not the spirit of the lost. It is the conviction that you are not lost — that wandering has a purpose, and that what you deserve more than anything is the freedom to walk awhile on your own path.