Silence is not always golden, sometimes it is very dark and needs the light of the right word spoken at the right time. To be a good listener, we must not only hear what people are saying but also to hear the sound of silence. Learning when to speak and when to break the silence can make all the difference in whether we can be a more excellent person or whether we sit by and let things go unsaid and miss out.
Martin Luther King, Jr said,
“In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Way too often we say words that need not be said and hold back what we really need to say the most. Why do we do that? Silence always says something.
George Bernard Shaw said,
“Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn.”
Don’t just talk to speak, though. Pythagoras said,
“Silence is better than unmeaning words.”
Silence can be caused by many things:
- Deep wounds
- Deep shame
- Deep dissapointment
- Deep disagreement
- Deep scorn
While silence is something we all need sometimes, I’m talking about the silence between people who know and love each other. Or silence to speak out against injustice. Silence over things that should be said. Silence about love.
People are irreplaceable. And those with whom we’ve grown up, made memories and loved are not disposable. You can’t throw away those relationships like an old shoe. The relationship is worth fighting for even if you’ll never agree.
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to break the momentum of inertia and pick up the phone, go see someone, or stop them in the hall.
There is a time to speak and a time to be quiet. And the wise among us know that often the hardest but greatest thing to do is to break a silence that deserves to be broken.
I wish I could wave my magic wand and help you build rebuild bridges torn asunder by differences of opinion. I wish there were easy answers. I only know that people are important and worth the effort to try to speak when it is just easier to be silent.
As you seek to be excellent, ask yourself if there are injustices, love, or great wrongs that require you to speak. Time passes and there can come a time when words can no longer be said.
Silence isn’t golden, sometimes it is a darkness that needs the light of the right word said at the right time.
Subscribe to 80 Days of Excellence
If you want to get every post in 80 days of excellence, sign up here. You'll get just the 80 days of excellence blog posts. You'll also get a link to read all of the past posts when you sign up.