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Wisdom-Trek © - Archive 2 - H. Guthrie Chamberlain, III 26th March 2016
Day 300 – The Wisdom of Silence
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Day 300 – The Wisdom of Silence

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Wisdom-Trek / Creating a Legacy

Welcome to Day 300 of our Wisdom-Trek, and thank you for joining me.

This is Guthrie Chamberlain, Your Guide to Wisdom

The Wisdom of Silence

Thank you for joining us for our 7 days a week, 7 minutes of wisdom podcast. This is Day 300 of our trek, and yesterday we compared the trails of inheritance versus legacy.  We discovered that although many people think of them as the same, there are distinctive and important differences between the two.

We have crossed over the 300-day milestone, and we are excited as we continue toward completing a full year of Wisdom-Trek.  Thank you so much for coming along with me each day as we explore and consume small “nuggets of wisdom.” These bits of wisdom help us to live a rich and satisfying life while creating a living legacy.

While some of our daily treks are multi-part series, you can join us at any time and start along with us from that point on. If you would like to listen to any of the past episodes, please go to Wisdom-Trek.com to listen to them and read the daily journal. You can also subscribe to Wisdom-Trek on iTunes, Spreaker, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and Google Play so each day’s trek will be downloaded to you automatically.

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We are recording our podcast from our studio at The Big House in Marietta, Ohio. As we have been observing our pair of hawks, we have settled that they are Red Shouldered Hawks based on their coloring and calls. We do not believe that they have laid their eggs yet as both of them remain very active working on the nest, flying around and eating small rodents. We will keep you updated as we observe more.

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It is great as I enjoy watching God’s creation and being able to see spring wake up, all while standing in silence at my computers and doing what I love, including creating these journals for our daily Wisdom-Trek. There is wisdom in being silent and observing.  This brings us to our trek today as we explore…

The Wisdom of Silence

Today let us discover the art of Learning to Talk Less and Say More.

You know who I really appreciate? Those people who aren’t uncomfortable with silence. Those people with whom you can sit at a table and have a delicious meal and not feel uncomfortable when none of you has anything to say. I love people who can communicate with one another not just with words but also with silence.

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As we hike onward today, I will mix some quotes, proverbs, and some good practical “horse sense” about the treasure of silence. I am sure that you have experienced being with someone who just could not stand a moment of silence, so they filled every gap of silence with speaking even if it was not relevant. Some people are convinced that to be a good conversationalist that there has to be a verbal conversation going on.

Life is a series of balances. Extremes on either end of the spectrum are usually not prudent. As a Swedish Proverb says, “Fear less, hope more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Hate less, love more; And all good things are yours.”

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I am sure all of us have done the same where we have been in a situation when we have talked too much or have said something that was either inappropriate or irrelevant. There are times we just talk and talk without actually saying anything. Maybe it’s because we want to feel that we’re heard and that people acknowledge our presence and existence. But, is that really the way to go about it? Wouldn’t it be wiser to talk less and say more while at the same time immersing ourselves in those moments of silence and allowing them to just be? Those individuals that habitually talk too much are usually a victim of a low self-image or a puffed up ego, which are two sides of the same coin.

Plato described it this way, “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”

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It seems to me that a lot of times we talk just so we won’t keep quiet, thinking that silence is something to be ashamed about, something to be avoided. But, it’s not. There’s nothing wrong with silence. I don’t know how we got this idea that silence is awkward and that it should be avoided at all costs. In fact, two verses that I enjoy from the book of Proverbs address this issue bluntly. Consider these verses the next time you are ready to open your month.

The first one is, Proverbs 17:28, “Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.”

The next on is Proverbs 10:19, “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.”

These two verses should give us pause when we feel compelled to open our mouths and share our “wisdom.”

a5598f0297494c4505ad8adcc0117aabSilence is a precious gift. In that space between our words is where we find ourselves. When the mind is quiet, when there are no thoughts and no words to be said, we can hear our own heart talking to us. We can hear our own soul and our own intuition. These are the times that God can really communicate with us as Herman Melville explains exactly what I mean, “God’s one and only voice is silence.”

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When we allow ourselves to be quiet, to breathe in and breathe out, without the need to force ourselves into saying another word or thinking another thought, that’s when we can hear God’s voice, our inner voice, our heart, and intuition. That’s when we can experience our spirit being united with God’s Spirit. This is where we are able to discover our own beauty and perfection that we are within God’s economy.

I have learned more from being quiet and from embracing silence than I have learned from thinking and from talking. Silence is my greatest teacher, whispering things in my ear and helping me know things that I won’t be able to discover from anywhere else.  Francis Bacon said it this way, “Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.”

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The reason why so many of us are under so much stress is because we haven’t yet learned how to quiet our minds and embrace silence. We haven’t yet learned to appreciate and see the value and the wisdom that come from being quiet.

Who says that you have to be thinking and you have to be talking all the time? Who says that it’s not okay to have moments when you just don’t have anything to say? Who says that you should be talking nonstop even when you don’t have anything valuable to say?

The Roman poet Ausonius said, “He who does not know how to be silent will not know how to speak.”

silenceLearn to talk less, but say more. When you use your words, use them because they will brighten someone’s day and because they will teach and impact people with something valuable. Don’t just use words for the sake of using them. Use them because you have something to say.

Do you believe that we can only communicate by using words? Do you think silence is something to be avoided? When you are alone with someone, if there are moments when none of you has anything to say, does that silence make you feel uncomfortable?

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Some of the most precious times that Paula and I have is the comfort that we can have being together and not saying anything. Knowing that our love for each other is always there, even when nothing is being said. Become comfortable with yourself.

As we continue on our Wisdom-Trek each day, take time to be silent and reflect on life. Remember that God spoke to Elijah in a gentle whisper. Tomorrow we will hike on the trail and look for the 9 moments of happiness. So, encourage your friends and family to join us, and then come along tomorrow for another day of our Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.

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That will finish our podcast for today. As you enjoy your daily dose of wisdom, we ask you to help us grow Wisdom-Trek by sharing with your family and friends through email, Facebook, Twitter, or in person, so they can come along with us each day.

Thank you for allowing me to be your guide, mentor, and most of all your friend as I serve you through the Wisdom-Trek podcast and journal each day.

As we take this trek together, let us always:

  1. Live Abundantly (Fully)
  2. Love Unconditionally
  3. Listen Intentionally
  4. Learn Continuously
  5. Lend to others Generously
  6. Lead with Integrity
  7. Leave a Living Legacy Each Day

This is Guthrie Chamberlain reminding you to Keep Moving Forward, Enjoy Your Journey, and Create a Great Day Every Day! See you tomorrow!