Isn’t that what they teach us in our childhood? If speech is silver, then silence is golden (Eza al kalam men fedda fal sokoot men dahab). Silence is one of the qualities that they try to inject in us in the Arab world.
Silence is good, despite our differences, everyone seems to agree on that. They give us examples of situations and daily encounters where they show that silence has been the best practice to keep safe and win.
I wonder how long has “Silence” been our favourite choice. Reading history Arabic history before Islam and for decades after it, one can see that our prominant quality has always been “Speech”. I guess that “Speech” was even considered more important thant physical power at some point in our history where muscles were needed much more than our current time. Men used to conduct “Speech” fights within themselves rather than physical fights. The better speaker used to be highly regarded than the others.
How did that change? and why?
Yes, it is true that “Silence” can be a better choice in certain situations, but it isn’t the right choice always. Most of the time speaking up to set things straight is better.
As a child I was subjected to follow this way of thinking. Being the good boy who I was, I certainly memorized this idiom and applied it in my daily activities. I was nearly always silent! I was shwy to speak up, and I thought that it is the right thing to do.
When I used to get misjudged, I stayed silent. When I had a new idea to present at school, I remained silent. When I needed something, I chose silence and never asked.
I figured out that “Silence” doesn’t win me any points in terms of social value. I have never won any friends by being silent. I have never gained more respect to myself by being silent. I have always regretted not standing up for my rights because of my silence.
As I grew up, I knew better. I learnt that if silence is silever, then Speech is not just golden, it is more than that. Speech is diamond. It is our sword. Our power to stand out from the crowd.
I guees that I am not the only one who realized this. Arab bloggers are aware of the power of Speech. We won’t remain silent anymore. We choose Speech to voice out our thoughts and make changes in our surroundings.
Keep up the good work guys, and keep on talking….
silver, gold and diamond;))) what a treasure to have in our characters that if we only know how, where and when we use each one of those precious pieces.. i mean, it’s good for me to keep silent(silver;)) to look around me and define my situation. so i can go full strength and confident when i talk(gold). the perfect thing to reach is to deliver my ideas in a healthy way and fruitful words that u can understand, there i can say that i reach to make it clear, and express my thoughts in a way that makes a good connection(diamond):))) cheers dude.
well said a-mok, I like that 🙂
What good is “talk” if no one is listening , I don’t use silence , I always talk but it’s like am talking to a wall , no one listens , even as a child I was always the kind of person who will talk and talk and talk , and it got me into a lot of trouble sometimes when I used to talk to teachers , but of course they always try to shut us up , I mean for example a lot of times the teacher would say something and I’d start talking back trying to explain my point of view but most of the teachers used to shut me up before I can say anything and with time I stopped debating . now I only sit back , listen to what they have to say and smile .
🙂 average-moh, you should make them listen. Sure talking without anyone listening is useless, but it isn’t any more useless than silence because someone would be listening without you noticing it 🙂
I think that there is no clear cut way telling you when you should speak and when you should remain silent. They are both similar to assured mutual destruction; if you speak and then your spoken words turn out to be disastrous then you would start wishing that you didn’t say anything, by the same token if you remain silent and the outcome ended up being disastrous then you would also blame your self for not saying anything. So it is a no win type of situation, it is very difficult to know when to speak and when not to speak, you can rely on your gut feeling but isn’t enough. In my opinion one should only speak when one find himself having irrefutable evidence under his arm, an empirical data to back up his claim, a well known fact that is easily recognizable by the general populace. Another factor that needs to be taken into consideration is: What is the purpose of your speaking? Is it to inform? Is it to persuade? Is it to advertise something, or is plain propaganda? One has to be careful about what one wants to speak about. When one wants to speak he has to be able to back up whatever he is speaking about either by citing his own personal experience with the subject at hand or he has to cite some references from books, resources, medical breakthroughs, discoveries, or what have you. If you want to speak like in chatting I guess you can speak about anything any time otherwise you need to guard your spoken words just like they taught you in your childhood years if you have any inclination to tackle a topic of meaningful value. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that you need first and foremost to define what you mean by speaking. Casual speaking amongst friends and family members would be okay but official speaking engagement couldn’t be treated the same way and would require a great deal or corroboration and substantiation, otherwise they will not pass the litmus test and will lose their effectiveness somewhere along the line.
If speech was silver, then silence is gold (and I add) saying the right thing at the right time ….. “priceless”
Hey hatem, thx for stopping by.
I can see what you are talking about, but I somehow disagree. I know that at a very specific cases, silent would be good, but in general speaking out is better than silence because silence means a negative action as of not doing anything, speaking and eventhought it can make some damage if it is used in the wrong way, it can only be fixed by speaking as well.
I say, silence is good, but speach is better.
Qwaider, yes know the right thing to say in the right time is the best, but it is hard to achieve that, I think that it is better to adhere ti speach than silence to achieve a better results in general
Hatem Abunimeh, I think your explanation made good sense!
I take the metaphor, “If words are silver, then silence is gold” as advice to chose my words carefully and use them sparingly, the quality of what I choose to say should be superb. When someone talks so much as to just wanting to hear themselves, their words become like garbage rotting our minds. Silence is gold because you can never take back what you say, but if you don’t speak, there can be no mistranslation nor miscommunication. That silence leave gold, for the opportunity of anything is left in place.