What Did You Just Say?
Sometimes I think too many people in the world are making too much pointless noise with their mouths. All the crap that’s uttered when so little is really said. Me, I only speak when I feel I have something to say, and after that, I will fall silent again. Unless I’m joking or messing around with you, there is little to no need for me to overstate things or string together things just so I can hear my own voice. Even if you know everything there is to know about a topic doesn’t mean that you should talk about it to no end.
Gandhi’s autobiography has a full chapter about his own shyness, called “Shyness My Shield.” In which he states:
“My hesitancy in speech, which was once an annoyance, is now a pleasure. Its greatest benefit has been that it has taught me the economy of words. (…) Proneness to exaggerate, to suppress or modify the truth, wittingly or unwittingly, is a natural weakness of man and silence is necessary in order to surmount it.”
In other words, don’t speak just to hear your voice. Give your words time to mean something, let them sink in before you drown someone in an ocean of “Blah Blah Blah” as Ke$ha so elegantly put it in her song. Silence doesn’t have to be awkward, it’s just a pause, a breath in between what was said and what is being taken in. So take that time to let someone else interject a.k.a. give their two cents. I only say this because someone who I speak to on a semi-regular basis has a habit of ranting and raving on with no end in sight, and I have to wonder why sometimes. Sometimes you can communicate how you feel a lot quicker and clearer just by choosing the right words and delivering them with the right tone or pacing. What you say matters, but how you say it matters more.
If words were like the air that we breathed, would you waste them?
Pick your words carefully. Each word is ammunition, so use it well and make it count.
Ready. Aim. Speak.