• mr. ikigai

SILENCE IS ANOTHER VIRTUE

Updated: Jan 17, 2018


"Silence is power!"

Have you ever been put to situation where you really want to say something, but instead you chose to keep your silence? All because it’s already done or enough for you. I find it as a very powerful weapon for yourself -- silence is not just another virtue. Silence is power!


I can still remember how it dropped like a nuclear bomb when all I gave my supposing tormentor were one liner or just my mere silence. Oh, it spoke a thousand word. I find it that my every word is so precious to be wasted to someone I know is so deaf to his own noise.


I remember in one of my previous work, we had this boss being feared by everybody. I was young, new, fresh -- I was simply myself then. One day, he shouted at everybody in his office. I was there as a witness. He was crazily furious out of frustration. Being in my role, I had to balance not to be seen as one sided favouring the management but to also protect employees from potential abuses -- and those were considerably verbal abuse. I was also thinking at that time that it’s going nowhere. His attitude and bad mouth will never resolve performance and discipline issues at that time. He even retaliated to me and all I said in a stern face and calm voice, “please drink your water”, and then there was silence before we all moved on from that moment.

“Let your yes be yes and your no be no.”

Another was with a lady boss, she was too uptight that nothing (without exaggeration) could come as great idea from anyone. She needed to have the final say in everything. She never learned to delegate with trust. She was so insecure of not being good enough (or not being the best - somewhat a superiority complex). She was never satisfied. Sure it has advantages but that workplace was not just overwhelming. It was simply too much to handle. In one of her personal workplace issues, she asked me (for the nth time) on what should her answer be. I was the ever supportive confidant and subordinate that time and all I said was “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” Then there’s silence between us. It was taken from Matthew 5:37, But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ be ’No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”

"that is the Christ-like attitude"

I strongly stand that in any workplace, leaders (or bosses) should know or at least try how to “persuade” people and not through coercion. Not because you own the company or you’ve got that boss- position that you could boss people around. I know it’s too ideal. I have also been to position where I needed to lead people under me and so I understand that there are those subordinates that are so much pain in the ass. But, I never felt so comfortable forcing people to do something all because I needed it and the shortest way to get what you want is use force - loud voice, threat, insult, etc. It’s most often that not is taking a toll on me because I chose the long route of making that person understands how it will impact all of us if something remains undone. I could also be cranky at times but always find ways to spend good quality time with my people (I’m not saying I’m a saint, okay?!). It’s just that I know that is the Christ-like attitude, and I was given a very lengthy patience.

"I said the loudest word that could ever explain my sadness to this day without using a word nor a sound."

On a more personal level, silence most often than not is not really a “no” response but an answer that means so very much. I can still remember how I was shut off by the loss of my beloved grandmother. When it was my turn to give her eulogy and thank people for their support all I gave them was my silence on the microphone. It was never, never normal for me. At least I can always say something. I was never an underdog at school or work. I can always find the right word at the right time, but there, perhaps, because the person lying inside that coffin was my beloved. I couldn’t say a thing and every time I would remember that day, I said the loudest word that could ever explain my sadness to this day without using a word nor a sound. Not a word was able to explain how I am feeling but my silence did. It was when I realised silence is another virtue.

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