“Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak.” James 1:19
There are some people who never seem to stop talking. When we find them at the other end of the ‘phone, delighted as we are to hear from them, we know that it is going to be quite some time before we can get back to whatever it was we were doing before.
Then there are others who hardly ever seem to say a word. Someone I knew was once accused by his wife of talking very little, leaving her feeling she must do all the work in conversation when they entertained a visitor. He justified his position by saying that if he had nothing to say, then he didn’t say it. It was hard to argue with that – though it was of no help to his wife at all!
Saying nothing can be a wise course of action sometimes. But it can also be quite obstructive: when a person will not talk or engage, it is very hard to move a situation forward and resolve whatever the issue facing them is.
Sometimes silence is hurtful. At the opening of Shakespeare’s tragedy “King Lear”, the king gathers his three daughters and invites them to profess the extent of their love for him, as a basis for d