It is a challenge to know when to speak and when not to speak; what to say and what NOT to say. And then there is the HOW to say what I feel the need to say. This kind of knowledge—or wisdom as some call it—is a very good thing to be aware of. “Not everything needs to be said, even if it’s good,” is a wisdom saying from an ancient writer. Whenever we speak, we must take into consideration who we are speaking to and how they will hear what we have to say. Most of us mean well when we are to speak, but how our words are heard is a mystery that comes out of the other person’s background and upbringing, that person’s experience of family and school, etc. There is a vast storage of unknowns lying below the surface of another person, and the best we can do when speaking is to come with our own established good will and the belief in the good will of others.
By Josue Behnen, OSB