Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Value of Keeping Silent (At Times)

Freedom of speech is a basic human right. People around the world are exercising this right. The availability of modern communication tools allows people to express their ideas and thoughts freely to more people than ever. Today’s generation specifically seems to have already forgotten that at times, being silent is important too. When too many people are expressing their opinion at the same time, it is hard to listen and sometimes, the best way to be heard is by keeping silent.

Silence is golden

This is a very old proverb, and yet its value is still immeasurable. Yes, it is fine to speak our minds out. However, we do not have to do it all the time, especially when we are hurt or angry. You know why? Because we have to remember that words are very powerful. Words are used to educate, bless, help and express one’s expertise. They can also harm, curse, reveal a person’s foolishness or cause damage.

It is all right to speak about things and ideas that arouse our passions. However, it cannot be stressed enough that at times, especially when we are hurt or angry that we should stop and hold our tongue, to avoid causing more hurt, damage or irreparable consequences. When we are in such a situation, we should refrain from using our mobile phones or visiting a social networking site and curb our tongues until our heads are clear.

Less is more

We may have been told at one time or another not to waste our breath. It is actually true at times. We do not have to talk a lot before we are heard. What we need is the right timing. Wait for the best time to speak and when we do, use well-thought out words and speak with a high degree of intelligence. Choose the right audience, the right time, and the best way to say what needs to be said. This includes posting our ideas on the Internet or sending text messages. Likewise, we have to remember that the quality of the words we use is of utmost importance, rather than the quantity of words. People are more likely to listen when we say less.

Remaining silent can mean many things. In negotiations, silence of about ten seconds could elicit more information or a higher offer. One- to two-second pauses between sentences give people time to comprehend what one is saying. It is timing and pacing sentences that make every sentence count.

People are now conditioned to the noise. There is noise everywhere, from the hum of office equipment, the air conditioning system, the ringing phones, the fax machines, the tapping on keyboards, etc. We could say that silence nowadays is a very rare commodity.

Lest we forget, there is also the practice of giving someone the silent treatment. Sometimes it is really needed, because if one does not remain silent, one is bound to say something that he or she might regret later on. Therefore, rather than offending someone and creating more friction, the best thing to do is to remain silent, which in most cases makes one a more refined, educated and an intelligent person.

by: Bernadine B. Racoma
Day Translations, Inc.
“The most accurate translations on the planet!”

Photo Credit: Silence


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