silence is golden?

This quote is pretty interesting…

We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.
– Martin Luther King Jr.
(1929-1968, American Civil Rights leader, Nobel Prize winner, 1964)

Of course there’s tremendous value in silence, I personally have learnt a lot more from silence than the literature I’ve read all my life put together.

In daily life, imo we need not be silent, but follow some kind of a middle path where neither is overdone. Wrt talking/blogging – I sometimes find it hard to know when to draw the line.

Those who know do not talk.
Those who talk do not know.

Of course most if not all of my own blogging is – whether I like it or not – is nothing more than a grand display of my ignorance 😀 But I often find it of great value to read what some others have written, for example for example Guri’s blog on silence and also the comments to it – particularly Viral’s.

But there’s one pretty important point in the story of Siddartha where he says…

Even with him[Gautama Buddha], even with your great teacher, I prefer the thing over the words, place more importance on his acts and life than on his speeches, more on the gestures of his hand than his opinions. Not in his speech, not in his thoughts, I see his greatness, only in his actions, in his life.

So also this rather amazing profile of Dwarko Sundrani

Words used to be mightier than weapons but in this age of information overload, words have lost their meaning. Action programs used to work but they are also losing their power due to confused means. “Time has come for using soul force, collective soul force,” Dwarko proclaims.

Real education for him is an understanding of this soul force.

Sometimes its pretty easy to get unknowingly carried away and say things that one may end up regretting later! There’s a beautiful story Sudhee had told me a few years ago, and though this story relates to gossip, I feel it can apply to even words spoken out of an unbalanced mind, in sudden moments of anger or illwill or hatred as well…


There’s a famous story based on a midrash ( Rabbah 6:14) about a man who gossiped. The people in the town were upset with him because of the things he had said. The gossiping man was sorry and went to the rabbi to ask him how to repair the damage he had done. The rabbi asked him, ‘Do you have a pillow at home? One stuffed with feathers?’ The man nodded. ‘Then I think I can help you,’ the rabbi said. ‘Come back tomorrow and bring that pillow with you.’ The man did not understand, but he did what the rabbi told him to do and returned to the rabbi’s house the next morning with the feather pillow. The rabbi stood on the porch and took out a large knife. He cut the pillow open, and feathers flew everywhere, carried away by the wind in all directions. The rabbi told the man, ‘Now go collect all of the feathers and fix the pillow.’

“But I can’t!” the man said. “There are so many feathers and they have flown so far away! I will never find all of them.”

‘That is the point,’ said the rabbi. ‘Just like the feathers cannot be gathered from the wind, so, the unkind words you said have now been spread throughout the village. You can not truly take back your words once someone has heard them.’


So in day to day life, there are situations when I wonder whether to speak or not. Eventually I felt that its very situational dependent, there’s no point in worrying too much about it – as long as one is being true to oneself (or atleast making an attempt of being so) 😉 – as long as one is speaking from the heart and not just from the intellect!

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