Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wisdom Keys: Silence is Golden

Part of my personality refuses to let me practice the skill of keeping my mouth shut! I know I should, and I understand life would likely be easier if I could just manage to not share my opinions in a variety of situations. But like it or not, I find it difficult to bridle my passions, especially when someone gets my anger riled up.

That’s how I’m feeling right now about one of my son’s school teachers. I wrote her a nice note, verifying some information, and I got back a scathing report on my son, all based on a behavior she should have let me know about at the beginning of the school year instead of waiting until six weeks into the quarter. Whether she meant it or not, a tone of unearned arrogance came through her lengthy tirade.

Hmm. . .maybe I’m not the only one who opens her mouth and speaks words that should not be spoken—well, in this case, emails them.

Of course, that didn’t stop me from replying to her message, maybe in a little more swarthy tone that my initial query, but hey, when her story doesn’t quite match up with what I’m hearing from my son, the principal, and my own observations of her, then I’m not going to let her dictate my son’s educational future.

In the end, I might have made the situation worse, but who knows. There is such a thing as being able to speak up for what is right. I did make every attempt to appear cordial in my response, but in the back of my mind I’m considering just moving him to a different school.

Today in church one of the women spoke about having a similar difficulty of knowing when to keep quiet. She said, “We’ve been given two ears and one mouth for a reason. We should learn to use them in the correct ratio, or we stand the chance of speaking too soon without having really listened if we don’t.”

I thought it was brilliant and even took the time to write it down so I could add it to this essay.

I know there is a place for silence—silence cannot be misquoted—but sometimes one just cannot be forced to remain so. Of course, that does lead to another life lesson—choices have their consequences.

I just hope that this time, the consequence doesn’t make life worse for my son.

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