Is Silence Always the Answer?

I wrote a blog and then I took it down. I was sick of arguing. I spent the day pondering my need to be heard. Deeply-rooted and far from new, it is my crutch, my cross, my lightning-shaped scar.

We carry our pasts with us into today and project onto tomorrow, our personal B-roll cascading on the snow as shadows. My father is fond of telling me there are times when I should just not respond, and he is often right. But I wonder, is silence always the answer?

Nothing irks me more than a lack of response. No reply to an email, no return call or text, someone ignoring an invitation until you badger them to respond. It seems common today to not respond as a forceful response, and I find it cold and calculated, distant, a way of avoiding intimacy, connection, and honesty.

And yet it is so widespread. People don’t respond in the workplace, they don’t respond in relationships.

So is it a need to be right that makes us speak up? Or a desire to share a different perspective?

There are people who shout from the rooftops and don’t care what people think and maybe that is the distinguishing factor: say what you will and don’t care what people think. When you spend the day ruminating over it, you clearly care too much – and that’s something altogether different.

What is it that I hate about know-it-alls? People who think they have a direct line to Truth when there is no Truth, just opinion? What we know today we know more about tomorrow. What we thought we knew years ago barely scratched the surface.

Is there anything truly wrong with inquiry and dissent? Isn’t that the lifeblood of a free people? Isn’t it our moral responsibility to educate others on a variety of perspectives and not sit in judgment, but rather let them choose the one that fits them?

Whether it’s what we eat or how we raise our children, whom we pray to or how we pray or whether we pray at all, it’s all so deeply personal. The heart of integrity. The seat of the soul. Who else can dwell there but you?

And is it fair for others to elbow inside your sacred space and get all righteous and haughty?

I can picture it now, the people whom at times I love and at other times make me crazy, arms crossed, looking down their noses, shrugging off my different perception as weird or crazy or out-there or just plain wrong.

The key is in the caring. The day I stop caring is the day I embrace what is real.

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