Technically speaking, “silence”, means total absence of speech. But it also signifies avoiding speaking. The age old saying of,” silence is golden”, applies to this type of silence.
Nothing could be truer. Speech is a God given gift to mankind to communicate with one another and express their emotions.
Due to superior brains, man has developed the skill of language to express oneself. But this skill is often misused knowingly or unknowingly by man. Words are spoken not only for communication but for venting out anger, frustration, jealousy, depression.
This misuse of speech is harmful for both, the person speaking and the one at the hearing end. Imagine a person shouts at his subordinate in the office for some reason.
This individual cannot retaliate but feels frustrated and angry. Coming home he vents out his anger on his wife or children or servants or all.
Now they feel angry and frustrated and may either answer back or start crying. The boss in the office also cannot be peaceful after shouting at or abusing a person.
He also feels agitated the whole day. Result is after reaching home, he may also shout at people at home to get rid of this agitated feeling. Thus a vicious cycle is set, where because of abuse of speech by one person; mental peace of so many individuals is lost. There was a problem in the, “ agony”, column of SUNDAY TIMES, where a lady expressed how hurt she feels due to the acid comments passed to her by the superior in the work place. Being at work becomes stressful if any person is caught in a situation like this only due to loose speech.
Now we can review this scenario in a reverse order. If the angry person happens to be a subordinate and gets angry with the boss, he may lose his chances of coming up on the office ladder or in extreme cases may lose his job.
The subordinate may voice out his frustration by talking ill of his boss to someone. But after this, he always remains anxious lest the boss should find out this.
At home, husband and wife may hurl unpleasant accusations and abuses at one another in a fit of anger. This leaves them both unhappy and also spoils the serene atmosphere of the house.
Among close friends and relatives, a stray hurtful comment is made by someone and the relation is broken forever.
In any place, a political leader gives an inflammatory speech. Riots erupt as a result destroying lives and property of hundreds of innocent people.
Unpleasant or inflammatory speech does not only cause unpleasantness or broken relations, it has a negative influence on physical health also. Any kind of speech causing mental tension or agitation will induce release of adrenalin and other harmful chemicals in the body.
This will augment pulse rate, blood pressure and blood sugar and can also precipitate heart attacks and cardiac arrest. Hypertension, peptic ulcer, bronchial asthma, e.t.c., so many diseases are caused and aggravated due to mental stress. Unpleasant or hurtful speech is a major reason for causing mental stress world wide.
One also spends energy in talking, which could have been used more productively.
Thus it can be seen that the tongue, a small organ of the body can create so many problems in the world due to its action of speech. Thus it is aptly said that, ‘silence is golden”.
It is said that many people know what to speak but very few know what not to speak. Some persons are so fond of talking that in their eagerness to talk and talk, they tend to forget what they are saying and would speak any nonsense only to regret later.
Keeping guard over the tongue is also an exercise in self discipline to maintain good physical and mental health. Maintaining silence gives a person an opportunity for introspection and meditation also. This helps him or her to improve on their faults and work with greater concentration.
Adopting the policy of,” silence is golden”, is good for betterment of individual and society.
Therefore it is important that one speaks only when absolutely necessary, speaks, what is absolutely necessary and speaks only what is sweet and soothing.
Discrete silence can be adopted instead of speaking bitter truth. The world will be a more peaceful place after that.