Thursday, December 3, 2015

Shutting Up Most of the Time

Zestful Blog Post #135

My blog is about zestful writing and the things I learn about and love. When one is a blogger and something big just happened and is all over the news and social media, one sometimes wonders whether to comment. I think many bloggers, no matter what their specialty, figure if they don’t comment on whatever the big news is, readers will think they’re out of touch or don’t care. I’m in touch, I care, and I have opinions, but I choose not to comment.

The very best one can do is choose peace for one’s own heart at whatever the cost. And there is a cost to choosing peace. The price is relinquishing the grievance narrative, dropping the need to grasp and struggle, and embracing humility. Which also means not trying to fix other people. And it means shutting up most of the time.

Out of all that, simply that, comes real power.

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  1. I guess I don't understand the "real power" that comes from "shutting up most of the time." Perhaps I am misunderstanding what "most of the time" is. As an activist, I see the gains we have made by speaking up, by demanding that our voices be heard in the conversation. I am at a loss to see how to proceed with t he gun lobby, however, and am open to your ideas, but need more information about how this "real power" is going to come about by being quiet and how ti is going to change the problem of gun violence in our country. Please say more. Or refer me to someone else who is teaching this. Thank you. Ona

  2. Ona Marae, I'm so glad you posted here. I've done a bit of activism too. I don't advocate shutting up ALL the time and never speaking up clearly for what's right, or doing what's right in the face of unpopularity or even danger; that 'most' was my qualifier. I do feel that much of the opinion-spewing people do is wasteful, of their own energy and of others' attention.

    I think what I'm trying to say is 'meta'. The great spiritual leaders--take Buddha for one--advocate putting one's own house in order before trying to point out faults elsewhere. A person who is humble, sincere, and quiet in mind can receive great insights--as well as command great respect and attentiveness from others. And that humble person might say or do one simple, economical thing that makes a difference.

    Does that help some?

  3. I like this very much, and I sense strong emotions behind it. I also sense the conscious choice to not post about your strong emotions or positions. That is a difficult choice to make. I find myself at a loss except for "I'm sorry. I'm _so_ sorry." But there are others whose grief is must more important than mine.

    I've often heard that if you are speaking, you are not listening. To me, shutting up and listening is not the same as silence or lack of action. It's the deliberate choice to listen and try to understand the position of others at the table. I think there is little power in the constant blatherers (is that a word? it should be) or the disconnected silent folks. I'm hoping there is tremendous power in listening to one another through these difficult times. ~~ Vicki

  4. Succinctly stated. I do understand the grievance narrative is another bandwagon ridden around on by people demanding repression of others right to existence. As you said, if we let go of the need to control how others live, and focus on living our own life in peace, then the world would be a better place. It all starts with you, the individual. Be loving, hold loving thoughts toward those close to you, and then see what happens. Just because you disagree with something/someone, that doesn't make you right or them wrong. Voice your opinion if you must and then let it go. An opinion has no matter unless you turn your mind to it.


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