“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” I’ve seen a few sources given for that quote, I’ll go with Abraham Lincoln simply because that is the first source I saw given and ultimately it’s the message, not the author, that matters. The message here may seem cleverly wise at first glance. But is it? I think it might be a great thing to say when having a few drinks with friends. In the context of having a few drinks it fits well. However, as a belief with which to guide one’s life I only recommend it as an aid to maintaining personal insecurity, if not incompetence.
It’s not that speaking out in and of itself makes one secure or competent. However, when we speak out we allow ourselves the great opportunity of putting our thoughts, our ideas, on trial in the court of public opinion. And no matter what the public may think or say about what we have presented, we can benefit from the feedback. Sometimes the feedback is spoken, sometimes it is written and sometimes it is just thought.
And even in the case of the latter, because we are energy beings and we can receive what the ambient energy field around us has to offer, we can take in and benefit even from what is thought about our presentations. It may come in the form of “intuition” or dreams. Maybe we wake up in the middle of the night realizing something pertaining to something we said or wrote. Where did that new realization come from? I believe we can and do, even if only subconsciously, tune into thoughts that are in response to our own presentations.
So, when we put ourselves forward, we benefit from an opportunity to receive feedback. And from that we can learn and develop as intelligent human beings. And maybe we can share something which precipitates thoughtfulness and development for someone else. And that is good also.
For these reasons I very much recommend speaking out! Don’t get hung up on the responses you may get. Take them in, look at them, see what there is for you to take away from them. You may learn a lot about the subject you’re addressing, you may learn about yourself, you may learn about others, or all of those things. If you feel, in hindsight, that you said or wrote something that you realize didn’t make a whole lot of sense or possibly didn’t accurately represent what you really wanted to say, learn from that! We all are on a learning curve when it comes to our perceptions and realizations about our world and when it comes to communicating.
So don’t not talk because you might “…be thought a fool…”. At some time we all face that possibility and at some time we all succeed at looking foolish. It only becomes a failure if we don’t turn it into a victory by learning from it. It’s all about the ideas, not about personalities. So practice communicating because it’s with practice that we have the chance to improve.
And it may help to keep in mind the saying; “All things in moderation.”
Best wishes for the new year.