The Attraction of Silence
Sometimes I wish I could keep my mouth shut. I wish I could keep my mouth shut because silence seems so much easier. No confrontations. No difficult discussions. No awkward interactions.
So I try. I try to pick my battles. I try not to die on every hill. But sometimes, most times, my mouth opens, and my thoughts, feelings, and opinions flow right on out.
Silence has never been comfortable for me. Silence feels suffocating. Silence makes me feels like a hypocrite. To be clear, I know I'm a hypocrite. I think it is nearly, if not completely, impossible not to be. But silence makes me feel like the original definition of a hypocrite as taught by Paul:
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. (Matthew 23:27 KJV)
And as a general rule, I try to avoid being full of the bones of dead men and all uncleanness.
But sometimes, sometimes I long to be the type of person who is comfortable not making those opinions known, or even better, having no opinions at all. Can you imagine the peace?
Because I recognize that by stating my opinions, I'm not always making a lasting change. I might help change some minds by offering a different perspective, but in terms of a real, document-able impact, I'm not sure that's ever achieved. More often than not, I feel like I'm speaking in an empty void.
So why do I do it? Why do I keep talking?
Because I have to. It feels completely inauthentic to let offensive, hateful, racist, sexist behaviors or opinions be spoken in my presence, and not say anything.
Martin Luther King Jr. said it best (like he did most things):
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
So my friends, I promise never to be silent. And I hope you won't be either.