I was upset. Upset because I felt ambushed and backed into a corner. With every word uttered, I could feel my emotions swaying like the pendulum on a clock. It wasn’t right that I was being asked to give more of my time and effort despite all of my hard work. It wasn’t just about being asked to do more, but it was the way in which it was presented that left me baffled and miffed. It wasn’t fair! But even as I felt my emotions welling up inside me, a voice in my head gently reasoned with me. Yes it wasn’t fair and yes I’d done all the hard work and didn’t expect to be asked for more in an accusatory manner, but it wasn’t a license to lose control of my emotions and allow them get the best of me. There was more inside of me that could draw strength from and rise above the occasion, rise above the misgivings of my fellow man, stay calm and plod on. So I drew a deep breath and carried on.
I chose silence not because I am weak or because my tongue cannot form words to defend me. But I chose silence because sometimes silence is more powerful than any word that can be spoken. Though my silence may be perceived as acquiescence and an inability to defend myself, I see things differently. My silence was the tool I needed to reach within myself and rise beyond giving into the natural instinct and compulsion to lash back. Silence was the voice I needed to teach me that I have more within me to give, share and more importantly learn, even when I feel justified in my anger. Funny how linear and myopic our views can so easily become when we feel justified. How many relationships, marriages, jobs and friendships may have been saved from each one learning when to use silence not as a tool of oppression or intimidation, but as the voice of wisdom that allows introspection, objectivity and empathy?