“Speak only when the words are more beautiful than the silence.”
This Arabic proverb is easily one of my favorites.
Only silence can hold the deepest things.
In the presence of great beauty, we go silent. In the state of awe, we cover our mouths.
There’s an old story that the students of the Buddha once asked him to describe pure truth, to describe what he saw. He went silent.
Somewhere in each of us is a discerning voice. One that aims to keep our hearts clear and guide us. It speaks in whispers, so we have to be quiet enough, still enough to hear. Sometimes that voice disturbs our preference for something safe and predictable, which is also why sometimes we avoid it. But this voice is the difference between truth and illusion, belonging and isolation, the majestic life and the mechanical life.
This guiding voice is inextinguishable, but can be buried in noise.
So take some time in your days to sit quietly. Long enough to get past the chatter. And long enough to get past the fear of meeting silence. Because the best advice, the best ideas, and the best solutions are born in the fecund soil of silence.