“Speech is silver, but silence is gold.”
– Finnish Saying
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Recently I made a reservation to visit my favorite yoga retreat. Among the experiences there I look forward to is breakfast. The food is quite good, but the silence is delicious. You see, during the morning meal in the large dining hall, talking with others is not permitted. At first, I found it difficult. Over time I have found it a favorite aspect of my visits.
Like everyone else, I engage in conversation each and every day, close to all day long. There often seems to be an unspoken rule that, in the presence of others, talking is polite, while silence is uncomfortable, if not rude. I understand that, especially in certain situations.
But over time I’ve also come to appreciate that, while speaking with others is both valuable and rewarding, it can also be a bit forced, and can at times even interfere with true communication and closeness. As an example, when on a road trip with my son through beautiful country scenery, the two of us often enjoy the time together simply taking in the scenery without discussion. They are very special times.
As another example, I find taking a few minutes out of my day, sometimes twice, for a brief walk, gives me added clarity and patience when I return to the inevitable new tasks and conversations.
At work and elsewhere this week, consider making a few moments, by yourself or with others, silent ones. “Speechless” time, alone or together, is a powerful method to make later discussions so very much more valuable, productive and meaningful, indeed, often precious.
This saying came to my attention while reading an article about how happiness, health, purpose and productivity support one another. That’s what I get from my “silent times,” and, too, from my writings, like this one.
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