Why Silence Is Golden Essay

There is an old adage which says, "Silence
is golden." But is it always so? I recently
ran across this statement: "Silence is not
always golden --sometimes it is just plain
yellow!" That really struck me as worthy of
further thought.
Certainly "silence is golden" at times. There
are times when silence pays rich dividends.
Solomon said: "The one who guards his
mouth preserves his life; the one who
opens wide his lips comes to ruin". (Pro.
13:3). Surely the kind of silence here
advised, the control of one's tongue, is
"golden" indeed. Peter tells us: "Let him
who means to love life and see good days
refrain his tongue from evil and his lips
from speaking guile." (1Pet. 3:10). Silence
is certainly "golden" when compared to
speaking evil. How wonderfully "golden"
the "silence" would be if all whispering,
gossip, backbiting, lying, slander and such
like could be forever stopped. Perhaps all
of us need to give more attention to our
"Silence is golden" also when one is
restrained and careful in her speech. There
are times when one can say more by being
silent. Too many times we may be guilty of
saying too much. The multiplicity of words
is much in evidence today. No doubt
Solomon had reference to such when he
wrote: "He who restrains his words has
knowledge... [and] even a fool, when he
keeps silent, is considered wise; when he
closes his lips, he is counted
prudent." (Prov. 17:27-28). It must be
agreed that there are times when "silence
is golden".
There are other times, however, when
silence is not "golden". It may be just plain
"yellow" or cowardly in such instances! To
remain silent at times when one should
speak up is to be guilty of cowardice and
results in a failure to do one's duty. It all
depends upon the circumstances.
How many times in nearly every field of
endeavor has it been true that silence could
be traced to cowardice? Even in the service
of the Lord this is too many times true....

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Written by Parmita Uniyal | New Delhi | Updated: April 17, 2015 7:30 pm

BREAK THE SILENCE: Silence is not always golden (Source: Thinkstock Images)

Silence is golden at times. It’s probably the best thing to practice when an argument is going nowhere. It’s also the best policy when you don’t want to soak in the negativity of other people. It’s advised to stay silent when you are not sure of what you are saying, you have incomplete information or if you have something unkind to say. Besides, silence is meditative, it helps us connect with our inner self and bring out the best in us. It helps you take the best decision. It has a medicinal quality to it.

But silence is not always golden. When you withhold information, an emotion or an important conversation, it’s anything but medicinal. It turns toxic and ruins relations, emotions and the universe around you. This is the reason why passive aggressive people hurt you so much. Sometimes, it’s not the confrontation or an argument (not the endless one) that hurts, but the silence that eats you up like a termite and make you emotionally hollow.

Here’re some situations where silence hurts and hurts badly:

When somebody needs your support: There’s a new joinee in your office that you instinctively dislike. And that person has to work in coordination with you. If you choose not to talk to this person for days at stretch, it will be one of the worst office experiences for him/her and the person will remember you for life since first impressions are the last impressions. As I said, your silence sometimes can do more harm than your aggression.

When you need to take a stand: You know for sure someone has been wronged, but you are sitting quietly pretending you didn’t notice. You have seen a molester harassing a woman and you are standing silently in the crowd. You have witnessed an accident but you don’t call up the ambulance; instead you just choose to watch the person dying. Somebody has been bullying you unnecessarily and you don’t utter a word thinking it’s beyond your dignity to defend your position. Also, when your silence is misconstrued as your consent, it can hardly be golden.

After a tiff: When you choose to not break the silence long after your misunderstanding with the other person has been cleared, it shows that deep down you are still holding the grudge. Not responding to an apology message doesn’t unburden you. Forgiving and forgetting liberate you. In this case, silence is a load in your heart that can manifest in some mental or physical ailment.

Flirting and then going silent: You feel you are attracted to someone and make the first move. You enjoy the initial phase of attraction, attention and daydreaming about the person, only to realise after a point that you were not compatible with him/her. You have earlier made this person special, but now you suddenly withdraw yourself, go completely silent, leaving the other person wondering what went wrong. While it will leave the other party in an emotional muddle, the sudden withdrawal can be detrimental to your mental health also. If at all you have to disconnect, don’t do it abruptly. Silence in this case is not only rude, it’s downright insensitive.

Silence of the night: Last but not the least, when one wakes up from a nightmare in the middle of the night and not able to shake it off because of the sneaky silent scenario. You can’t call out to anyone because the mouth opens, but vocal chords produce only silence. Shhh… Silence in this case is scary.

(Withinputs from the victims of silence)

E-mail author: parmita.uniyal@expressindia.com

Follow @parmitauniyal on Twitter

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