Friday, December 10, 2010

Reverb writing #10 - Zip it

December 10 – Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)
wisdom |ˈwizdəm|
the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.
• the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of such experience, knowledge, and good judgment : some questioned the wisdom of building the dam so close to an active volcano.
• the body of knowledge and principles that develops within a specified society or period : oriental wisdom.
Well, that's somewhere to start, I suppose. One of my favorite sayings is "Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment."

I guess that maybe some of my wisest decisions this year came from keeping my mouth shut. The wisdom to know when not to say something, or not say anything, is a skill it's taken me 40 years to develop. It's not that I'm cowed, or embarrassed, or afraid. I just feel like I have a better handle on when it's useful or helpful to say what I'm thinking, and when it's not useful.

Which isn't to say that I don't speak my mind. I'm not a fan of office politics, and I'm a huge fan of telling the truth as I see it, which I suppose would be my opinion. Everyone has their own version of the truth, and perhaps it's that knowledge that leads me to not saying anything in certain situations. People sometimes feel challenged or insulted by opinions, or "truth."

Many times when speaking lately, I'll pause because I'm trying to make sure that the words I say are skillful and helpful. I know the value of choosing the proper words for the situation, taking into account what the other person is telling me or showing me about how they are feeling. I suppose I've also learned that - to read and listen to the other person and not just shoot from the hip.

In some ways, it's a less me-centric worldview that brings this about. If it's not all about me, then I'm able to view people as they are and the situation as it is.

I think it's wise to wrap this up now. I think I've said enough. Let me know in the comments if you'd like me to clarify or expand on anything.


  1. I have to agree. The cleanest moves I made this year were due to me simply choosing not to engage. Had I, a cute little issue would have become a MONSTER. I decided not to poke the bear. I've become more aware of my words the past year(s) and how powerful language can be. I take my time now, let things marinate before I open my mouth.

  2. Love this. It reminds me of the wisdom of asking oneself before speaking, will it improve on the silence. Great post. Many blessings! LR

  3. I love that question, Lauren. :) Thanks for stopping by and reading!


All content ©2010-2011 Sam except where indicated.