When not to choose silence


There are times when silence is not appropriate. In the face of injustice, abuse, pain, distress, or suffering of our fellow humans, we should never be silent. Part of the goal of choosing silence in our lives is to prepare us to be available to others – to help and to serve. We must have a deep respect for the gift of our own life so that we can appreciate that gift in others. All life is precious and valuable. Every human deserves love and respect. We can never be better people at the expense of another. Silence is a place to rest but it can never be a place to hide from life and the world around us.

Silence can help to prepare us to deal with problems and difficult situations. However, it is particularly important in the context of our families that we do not use silence either as a weapon or to avoid taking action when it is needed. Love can require us to deal with hard and difficult situations. We must try our best particularly for those we love. We must also seek help if we are overwhelmed beyond our own means to cope. Sometimes we need help and it is not shameful to ask for it. Many people find themselves overwhelmed by the circumstances of life. Doctors and counsellors are always a good starting point for getting the required help.

Silence can be misunderstood as acquiescence or agreement. When you see or hear about an injustice on the news, we can feel powerless to do anything. But there are times that we must speak out despite our discomfort or fear. Small things like clicking ‘like’ or sharing an article on social media, wearing a button, or sticking a bumper sticker on your car are a good way start to speaking up. Use your voice to support movements for positive change in the world where you can. It is rarely necessary to shout but it may be necessary on occasion to speak up, stand up, and be counted.