A time to keep silence, and a time to speak


Today, we look at the next in our series based on the 1965 song by The Byrds called Turn! Turn! Turn! .  You will recall that we looked at “a time to weep and a time to laugh” the last time.  Today, we look at the theme:

“A time to keep silence, and a time to speak”

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”  Oh, how true!  There is a time so speak up, such as when you have something to contribute or when no one else is willing to state the obvious.  There are times when silence is our enemy.  However, we all see individuals at times speaking without considering the value or truth of what they say or without allowing others to provide their input.  I think we all also know some individuals of which it has been said, “When he/she speaks, you need to listen because he/she doesn’t usually say something unless it is really important.”

The best way today to express this concept may be to simply read the wisdom that has been expressed by others on this subject:

  • “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. 
  • “Be slow to speak, and only after having first listened quietly, so that you may understand the meaning, leanings, and wishes of those who do speak. Thus you will better know when to speak and when to be silent.” – Saint Ignatius 
  • “The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing… not healing, not curing… that is a friend who cares.” – Henri Nouwen 
  • “The world would be happier if men had the same capacity to be silent that they have to speak.” – Baruch Spinoza 
  • “Wise men, when in doubt whether to speak or to keep quiet, give themselves the benefit of the doubt, and remain silent.” – Napoleon Hill 
  • “We need a reason to speak but none to keep silent.” – Pierre Nicole 
  • “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napoleon Hill 
  • “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill 
  • “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” – Hans Hofmann 
  • “Speak when you are angry – and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.” – Laurence J. Peter
  • “Let your tongue speak what your heart thinks” – . Davy Crockett 

Think about how you manage your own “time to speak and time to remain silent.” Do you really listen to others when they speak?  Would others consider you one that “speaks only when there is something really important to say?”  Are you ever silent when you should be speaking up?  Finding that perfect balance is a challenge.

Have an excellent “top ten” day!

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