Seasons of Silence
The Value Of Saying Nothing
For anyone who’s counting, you’ll notice that it’s been some months since I’ve posted much on Medium. There are a few reasons for this lapse; and a primary one was encountering a period where I thought I had little of value to say.
So I elected to say nothing.
The practice of silence is uncommon in our day. Instead, everyone is encouraged to have a strong opinion about everything and to voice that opinion at every opportunity.
It’s a battle of who can make the most noise. Restraint and moderation are not seen as signs of maturity but instead as trademarks of the weak and uncommitted.
We need to engage in some self-examination and appreciate the value of silence in our otherwise noisy world.
We’ve all heard the expression “Silence is golden.” It’s a proverb that is centuries old, and our ancestors understood the same thing as we observe today:
often, it’s better to keep quiet.
There’s a time and a place to speak up, to insert your opinion or view. But we’re surrounded each day by chatter and noise. The whole world (and its attention economy) cannot stop talking, even for a short moment.
Most things can be said in less time, with fewer words. Brevity is an undervalued skill. And it is a skill; it takes significantly more forethought and preparation to communicate ideas and thoughts succinctly than it does to ramble on.
Please take a moment to edit your thoughts and words before they see the light of day.
Provide your audience the summary, not a stream of consciousness.
Prioritize quality over quantity.
Asking for Attention
One of the most valuable things that we can give someone or something is our attention. If we focus on that person or a particular subject or task, we are excluding everything else.
There’s an opportunity cost; we can’t tackle this activity or project if we’re undertaking something different.
We need to bear this in mind when we communicate with others. When we place something in their inbox, text message, phone call, or face to face communication:
are we voicing something profitable to the other person?
Is it worth their attention?
If we’re asking for someone’s time and attention, let’s double-check that we’re providing them value in return.
Season of Silence
A season or period of intentional silence could do each of us a dose of good. Based upon my latest experiment, here’s a few observations that I gleaned on what that silence can offer us.
Reset on communications
We don’t have to be constantly in the know. It’s okay to be out of touch for a while. Perhaps habits and norms in our relationships need a reset or altered. Maybe we’ve gotten into the habit of talking too much.
The world doesn’t require our opinion on any topic; it goes along well enough without hearing our judgments constantly. A good reminder that we’re not the center of the universe.
A season of silence gives you ample opportunity for meditation and introspection. Turn off the notifications and lock the phone away for a week. Give your mind space to move and stretch.
There’s too much chatter and not enough critical thinking in our modern. Be someone who knows how to think and who thinks before they speak.
There’s a lot that you could say about many different things. Take time to ensure that what you’re saying is worthwhile.
Do you tend to be overly busy with communication?
Start today: reflect on your regular daily communication with others. Is it flippant and distracting for them? Or are you communicating to them information and feedback that profits them and builds them up?
Originally published at https://fjwriting.com on June 17, 2021.