Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Matter of Strategy: The power of speech


People tend to say "words are cheap", because no matter what you say, action have to follow. Everybody would agree to that. Nevertheless, that sentence is kind of overdosed and overused in my opinion. There are many factors to think about when it is about words. Words are powerful, they can make a valuable difference at the right time. So, I think we should always know that "words are cheap" does not mean "words are powerless/meaningless".

"Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs." -Pearl Strachan
Promised were made, allies and foes separated, wars were won and revolutions were started... all by the force and power of words, by a single man or by the masses. Don't we see by all this examples that talking an speaking up is very important till today? Too often we just sit back, saying "We can't change a thing" and hope for that something or someone else does what we were wishing for. While we are resting in lethargy, time moves on and nothing starts to happen.... but still we think it is not our responsibility or our  task to use our mouth, to break the seal of silence.
"Silence is safer than speech." -Epictetus
When you remember one of my last writings (Read here), you remember that fear is one of our strongest engines we are driven by. Our main objective seems to be to judge and to observe. Difficult it seems to be to go out of that passive state and actively do something for your own good or for the good of others. We fear the result? But think more clearly, what is more fearsome? The state of total overwhelming suppression, being pushed around by the mercy of God, time, destiny or whatever entity matters for you? Or the state of trying, of speaking up, of being an example of a free man, even disappointment is most likely to come along?
"When you have spoken the word, it reigns over you. When it is unspoken you reign over it." -Arabian Proverb
Yes, the choice is not easy. One choice is leading to accepting only involuntary change, welcoming the comfortable dazing feeling of being helpless, powerless, changeless... of just taking and doing what the world offers to you. Your mind is slowly getting numb... and maybe you even like it that way, somehow. It feels like a sweet and very comforting paralysis.... drowning yourself in self-pity about a world that you have given in to.
Why does it seems so easy and charming to stay silent? Cause the other choice would be to say yes to the possibility to be excluded and avoided, to be looked at by society as an alienated being... even you are on the right sight in all points, most members of society might likeable just stick together against... fearing that disappointment, it is so easy to better do not speak up for any. Maybe you are heard and move the hearts of someone or many, or maybe you loose your reputation, your position or a lot more than just that.




"Speech and silence. We feel safer with a madman who talks than with one who cannot open his mouth." -Emile M. Cioran
When you look more clear, a lot of people that say a lot of "stupid" things, are heard and listened to. And just because nobody clearly speaks up against them or seems to consequentially seems to want to make a change against it, that people slowly indoctrinate more and more individuals by their ideas, trying to move them on their side, abusing them for their use. Why does it seem so hard the other way around?
In my point of view, a lot of nowadays people that publicly speak up for something are either bringing up really crazy arguments, topics or ideas or bringing up no point at all.
That the first kind of people ordinary seem to be really fanatic seem to be clear and out of question, society looks at them sceptical but slowly and step by step they get more and more fans and followers. How about the other kinds?


"The flood of careless, unconsidered, cheap words is the greatest enemy of the profound word." -Stephen L. Talbott
In my point of view, the other kind is also really fanatic as well. Really fanatic in being "politically correct": If you want to make a point, or statement, you ordinary have to consider a position that will make you stand against a group or majority. That is a totally normal thing, and in my point of view the idea of always going straight in the middle, neither right or left, is meant to totally fail. It is no better than the kind of people that never talk, and they are even more annoying. You spent a lot of time listening to them, filtering what they might have said... and see the non existent content. Why is it like that, you might ask?

"Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them."-- Adlai Stevenson
And you have to digest what you said sometimes for a really long time... did you see the politicians nowadays? Like predators they look at each other, waiting for one opening his mouth, but instead of eating what they might say, they tear the words apart, making everything that was "politically incorrect" a bad thing... till that politician retires. The game goes on and on and on... it seems to be the only kind of matter for politicians nowadays.
I think in every kind of society, it is that way nowadays. Say something wrong and you are out, but it is nowhere that harsh and that dangerous to open your mouth than in politics.

"It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them."
- Mark Twain
Everyone in the end can decide by himself what he want to do with his right to speak. Not all countries support the power of freedom of speech so far, as words are still really powerful, even we denunciate them as "cheap" too often nowadays. So when you are able to give your opinion, always consider carefully what you are going to say and how you are going to use your words. Silence is not always the correct answer to everything, even it is much easier.

"The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions." -Confucius
"Speech is human, silence is divine, yet also brutish and dead: therefore we must learn both arts." - Thomas Carlyle
"Silence remains, inescapably, a form of speech." -Susan Sontag




What does that three quotes tell us? If you talk to much and do nothing, you will be unheard. Silence talks in his own way. Silence or speech is both a kind of action, which we have to carefully consider and choose from. As in everything, there is not always the correct solution.

What will you do if you had something to say?