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Friday, February 17, 2012

Silence Speaks...


My daughter showed me today a picture she had drawn, which she explained was of a person throwing trash which instead of falling in the dustbin falls on Supandi's head!

Well not going into the logic of how that could have happened, let us be reminded that in fact it happens often in life! Our baggage of raw emotions which should go into trash falls on somebody's head! We have every right to our emotions but our emotions are actually 'our problem' that we have to learn to deal with. Often we have to ask ourselves, is it the other person hurting me or am I hurting myself? When it could be our own assumptions hurting us, opening up our emotions is as good as throwing trash where it shouldn't be thrown. Jesus said "You judge according to the flesh. I Judge no one"(though he judged both in body and spirit and his judgements were correct)We judge according to what we are and rarely according to what our spirit our total self reveals to us, therefore we must be aware that we can be more often wrong than right in our judgements.

Where things have to be spoken, definitely we should speak but any abuse included in it is yet again trash. Correcting is love but abusing is a desire to hurt which is not love. It does happen sometimes as we are all human and prone to wanting to hurt in return for real or assumed hurt but to recognize it as a mistake and apologizing is important because each person is a temple of god and a temple is not the place to throw trash in. So much better to keep silent giving the benefit of doubt and let time reveal the truth. Every idle word is judged by God so we should use our words with prudence.

But then if we cant show or speak all our emotions, how do we manage it or find a solution to our problems? What works for me is writing it down, in other words opening up all the emotions in a space where I am not judged, where I can be free to be myself. To some it could be a friend or a spouse. Here we have to sort out the good from the bad, the right from the wrong, the assumed from the real. This process automatically can exhume the bad and the good can be extracted. It gives us the time to quiet our emotions and in the process we also begin to understand the situation from all perspectives. "The quieter we are, the more we are able to hear" Zen. It gives us the clarity to deal with our situation. It helps us decide whether we should be silent or should speak up.

Now it is important to know that it is not always speech that can clear problems. We should recognize that there is a power in silence that puts good the adage "Speech is silver, silence is golden."

Silence speaks in ways that speech cannot. It often holds much more of meaning than words do and can hold more power than speech. It may say I have an opinion and prod the other to probe the possibilities of that opinion and take what it needs to correct itself without us having said a word. "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Martin Luther King Jr. In being silent we not only show respect that the other is not a dustbin for our thoughtless words at that time, but also allow the other to understand our silence if they do care to know our mind. We leave the choice to them.

Your silence can say, I don't care to be a people pleaser, I don't care how my speech or silence can effect you or your opinion of me.“It is great wisdom to know how to be silent and to look at neither the remarks, nor the deeds, nor the lives of others.” St. John of the Cross. Silence here tells people about you that; good or bad, you are comfortable with yourself and are not affected by anybody's opinion.

Your silence can say that I don't want to prove any point. I don't care what opinion you form or that I don't want to be proved correct, I am self assured. It gives weight to the fact that you believe you are right.

Or we turn silent where we know speech does not help. It reminds me of a bible passage in which Jesus says that "You do not believe me because I speak the truth"(While you believe all the liers). This happens often in life. People may like lies or like people who praise them to get benefits from them. Or they may know the truth but prefer the lies. In such situations often it is better not to waste energy speaking. Your silence here would have said, If you dont want the truth, I dont care to say it. Here your silence may either let the other take the meaning in it as whatever they want to believe for their own good or if truth was different and still bearable to the other, silence would also have said the truth without a spoken word

We also have to recognize the situations in which we have to choose silence even when it may lead us to be misunderstood or look like the wrong one; going against our natural impulses to point out the right when things are wrong. Because it is also wisdom to know where not to make our wisdom evident. Here it may often require to wisely give up our ego but giving up the ego for the larger good turns out a good bargain eventually.

Finally 'Silence' should be out of choice.That is, where we recognize that we have to speak, we should. It is very rightly said that Wisdom is in knowing when to speak your mind and when to mind your speech...


"Confidence Counts" is a guest post by me for the blog "Whatever it Takes" that deals with an ingredient that can make the wrong- right and allows the right to be-right. It is the power behind powers.

15 comments:

DeepaK KarthiK (420*) said...

Silence speaks in ways that speech cannot. 200% true !
we have to understand the situation and we have to speak in accordance.
silence is certainly a penance which all of us cant enjoy...
nice post
Philosopher ? :D

Seema said...

Yeah you are right....sometime silence can speak a thousand words.......pls read my article 'Power of Silence'

Sourav said...

Brilliant. Read something sensible on blogs, after really long.

Monu Awalla said...

An inspiring write up for me... I exactly felt each and every word as I'm learning gradually the power of silence and speech both... I hope i can make a perfect balance between both... Silence evoked my senses these days and m feeling more free from inside rather than being a part of a material world...

Rahul Bhatia said...

My first visit to your blog and was really bowled over with this beautiful post. Even god gave us two years and just one tongue so it helps to hear more:)

Debra said...

It’s me again Jerly! Wow, this message is perfect timing for me! You have confirmed what I felt in my heart to be true. Recently, someone trashed me with her mean words. I responded with silence.
And just this week, a heated debate transpired within an organization in which I’m president. Even though I knew my stance was right, I chose silence again. Powerful message. Thank you! I’m your 42 follower you now on GFC ;-)

DEEPRAJ JHA said...

well i have did a lot of philosophy by introspecting and psychologically analysing people but now i dont like philosophy,but the way u have wrote is really beautiful!!
anyways crsse,is it a gov. organisation or ngo,and what sort of environment research is it???

FherYmas said...

Did you know that I sometimes struggle with this kind of process--robbing another persons energy. It usually happened when I want a message to get across...you want others to change, BUT I should know better that you can't push another person who have free will...their ego often fight back, that's human nature, to resist change.
But little by little I am learning the Wisdom of Silence...
Thanks for this, it seems coincidence is affirming what's going on in me now...

Praveen said...

Profound , I should say .

alka narula said...

interesting read jeryl..i strongly believe in power of silence .

alka narula said...

interesting read jeryl..and i strongly believe in power of silence alka narula

Jerly said...

Thanks all!!! This was an important post to me and am happy about the WORDS left behind by my visitors! :). I have myself been awoken to the amazing power of silence as opposed to speech (where I used to appreciate and follow only the power of speech). This has happened by interacting at one side with people who speak it all and on another those who dont and allowed me to introspect on my own speech. Ofcourse I found that the mean is always the best but considerate silence left more space where thoughtless speech pushed off the bench!! To choose 'respectful' silence or 'wise' speech is such a fluctuating mean that you have to be super aware what works where. When you have made one choice without being totally sure if it was a right choice, then what works is to be confident about your choice anyway ;D

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Andy said...

My friend,
Thank you for the visit and for following me. I will also do the same. The power of silence can not be measured. The only thing that is greater than silence is love...for it can always be seen through the eyes (smile).

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