Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Better Part of Valor

The warm, sunny half of the year is at my back  now, and I look ahead, literally, through a dark window--my own reflection staring back at me. It is time to write again. When the weather is warm and there is yard work to do and sunshine to warm my back, I find I have less to say and more to enjoy. As the days get shorter, I turn to writing to keep my mind in gear. However, I'm finding each year that I have less I want to put down in words. This is not an indication that my mind is shutting down, but more that there is less I want to say out loud.

Words are powerful--some too potent to be spoken and best left to thoughtful reflection. It's discerning which to speak and which to just think about that is difficult. There are questions to consider. Who will hear these words? What effect will it have on them? Is it my business to say words that will change them? How much do I need to say these words, or is just thinking them sufficient?

Some words deserve a cost/benefit analysis. If we ask what we are trying to achieve--an honest appraisal--we may find that our motives are turned too inward. We just want to hurt back, we are selfish, we want attention, we don't care. The most effective communication usually has the listener in mind. How will they hear this? Do they need to hear this? Will hearing this make them a better person? Is this the right time to speak?

Words that are spoken cannot return to being unspoken. Sometimes the better part of valor is silence.

No comments: