Do you see people who are quick to speak?
There is more hope for fools than for them.
Words are binding. They create promises, expectations, relationships, and reality. They carry the potential to hurt or heal. To delight or disappoint. To shock and surprise. This is true in all facets of life – work, play, and relationship. In Seth Godin terms, we never want to miss an opportunity to delight someone with how we show up, or with what we ship. We don’t want to over-promise and under-deliver on a product or a service or a relationship. Better to surprise a friend, partner, or customer with your follow-through, delivery, or product than to speak too quickly, too early, and subsequently fall short. Fast, showy words and big promises are easy and cheap.
Silence, however, is challenging. Silence requires a healthy dose of effort, both for those who are silent and those who receive silence. Silence causes us to wrestle and to wait. We have no option but to live into silence; to let reality become and emerge from the empty vacuum of words.
To speak is to create. [God spoke creation into existence.] We harness a great power, a great responsibility, and a great danger in our ability to use words. Careful silences and responsible words create spaces for – and offer hope to – relationships.
Own your words responsibly. Practice the challenging art of silence. In life, work, and love.