Silence Can Be A Beautiful Thing || NC Lifestyle & DITL Photographer
June 15th 2020
"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, you do better."--Maya Angelou
It’s now mid-June and I’m 2-weeks overdue for my monthly newsletter. This blog post--also past it's duedate, and I've been absent from social media.
I had the newsletter all planned out.
Still in its rough draft phase, but ready to be placed in its proper template—that well-designed format prepared to grace your inbox with some professionalism.
I was feeling less uncertain. Calmer. More adapted.
We were finally coming out of our homes, enjoying time with more family and friends, and patronizing some of our favorite establishments as they reopened their doors.
I was coming to terms with the new normal—personally and professionally—with much gratitude and acceptance. My monthly newsletter—a bit more upbeat and lighter. Refreshing news, I suppose.
Then news of the death of George Floyd broke. And it broke many things:
It exposed something still broken in this new normal and all is not well in the world.
Many, many questions flooded my mind. The juvenile ones…
What do you say when you’re not a person of color (POC)?
How do you respond when you’ve never walked in those shoes?
Every public post from other entrepreneurs, mentors, and those I admire--that aren’t people of color--were the same. They were afraid to say the wrong thing; afraid to post in fear of offending.
And I get it. I had all the same thoughts, yet I didn’t want to regurgitate the same words.
So I fell silent.
Then I read some troubling opinions on silence:
“Staying silent means siding with oppression.”
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”—Desmond Tutu
“[…] Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”—Elie Wiesel
Funny thing is, I wholeheartedly understand this too, yet, I fully believe there is truth to both sides of the argument. And therein lies the gray. An area where not everything is black and white.
Here’s the thing about silence—in my humble opinion:
I have experienced profound peace in silence.
I have learned valuable lessons in silence.
In choosing silence, at times, it has kept me from saying things I knew I would later regret.
In choosing silence, I am granted moments to sit in my thoughts and reflect.
Choosing silence allows me to listen and learn.
And in learning there is growth. There is compassion. There is empathy.
I know many silent warriors that do and take action without ever saying a word.
They show up.
They take time out of their days to lessen someone else's burdens without ever saying a word. Quietly changing the world around them. Silently contributing to those around.
No recognition required.
Silence does not mean action is not happening. Put simply…some of us are at our best when we’re not seen by the world--when we’re not publicly vocal--and others are at their best when they are seen and heard.
The message should be—always strive to be the best version of you and everything else will fall into place.
So, I may have been silent, but know this…
I am listening.
I am reflecting.
I am learning.
I am working on becoming a better version of myself and I am doing this in my own way.
Because silence can be a beautiful thing.
"Silence the angry man with love. Silence the ill-natured man with kindness. Silence the miser with generosity. Silence the liar with truth.--Gautama Buddha
"Do not speak--unless it improves on silence."--Gautama Buddha
"Silence isn't empty. It's full of answers."--unknown