Day 75: The danger of silence

Silence is bliss.  That’s something we have been told our entire lives, and sure silence can be a beautiful break from a long day, it can be just what we need to recharge and regain focus, but silence is not always the answer. Ted speaker Clint Smith wants us to be aware of the danger of letting silence run rampant in our lives.

Day 75- The danger of silence inspired by a Clint Smith Ted talk Website Confetti

Clint kicks off his Ted talk with a very powerful quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.” The words that we don’t speak matter, perhaps even more so than the words that we do speak.

Clint had a Catholic upbringing and was taught to give up something that he valued each year during Lent. One year Clint gave up his voice and vowed not to speak during Lent. Clint decided that his voice would be the most valuable sacrifice that he could possible offer. Clint says that he didn’t realise that he had actually given up his voice years ago.

Clint says that he spent so much time telling people what they wanted to hear rather than telling them what they needed to hear. He thought that he was not in a position to be anyone’s conscious when he still needed to figure out his own.

Ted Speaker Clint Smith quote compiled by website confetti

Clint, who is a teacher,  gives an example of a woman at a fundraising gala who praised him for teaching “unintelligent kids.” He bit his lip in the justification that the school needed her money more than his kids their dignity. It’s a moment he now regrets, but I think we have all had these moments.

We need to talk about silence

I think we are all guilty of this. We hear or see something that we know is not right, but we remain silent. Maybe we hear our co-worker or boss say something insensitive about someone else and we chose to ignore it, or nod our head in false agreement,  just wanting the awkward moment to pass as quickly as possible.

silence is danger

There is an inherent danger to this. What we remain silent to today can have a very real ripple effect. Sometimes what we need to say may be uncomfortable but that doesn’t make it unnecessary.  Our voice is powerful. Use it.

I strongly recommend watching Clint’s Ted talk. Towards the end, Clint jumps into poetry slam talking about the dangers of silence.

What do you think? Is there a danger to silence or should we just keep our mouth shut? I would love to hear your perspective in the comment box below.


Vanessa Rose