How many times in nearly every field of endeavor has it been true that silence could be traced to cowardice? There are times when it is our obligation to speak up and tell the truth. Many times those who should speak out and warn of issues remain silent because they are afraid or fear that they might hurt someone's feelings. Such silence is far from being golden, "it is just plain yellow" (Jan Kemp). While silence can be an effective tool, as avoidance for taking responsibility - not so much.
- To escape criticism…say nothing, do nothing…be nothing. ~~ Elbert Hubbard
- Silence, indifference, and inaction were Hitler's principal allies. ~~ Lord Jakobovits
- Most silent men are silent because they haven't a thought in their heads and do not wish to be found out. ~~ George Jean Nathan
- Silence has a suffocating, deadening effect. And the things that dies first is hope. ~~ Katie Sherrod [The Witness]
- The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls. ~~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton
- Silence is golden, but I must say that some of the most discreet and dignified fools that I have ever met have been those who never ventured an opinion on any subject. ~~ Josh Billings
- Throughout history it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph. ~~ Haile Selassie
- The cruelest lies are often told in silence. ~~ Robert Louis Stevenson
- History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. ~~ Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Some people mistake weakness for tact. If they are silent when they ought to speak and so feign an agreement they do not feel, they call it being tactful. Cowardice would be a much better name. ~~ Frank Medlicott
So, OSM, I have said it before:
- LISTEN for facts and feelings.
- COMMUNICATE assertively.
- Show TOLERANCE and respect.
- FOCUS on the issue.
- EXPECT the positive.
"Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape."