We've all heard that a picture is also worth a thousand words. An image, combined with a moment of quiet reflection, can conjure up plenty of meaning - without saying a word.
I wonder how many words silence is worth? I guess it all depends on the context.
Sharing our inner world involves an ebb and flow between words and silence. Phrases and pauses. Time for words to breath and for meaning to percolate. The meaning and intent of our communication changes depending upon the context, the way that we see the world at this very moment in time.
There are times when a thousand words just aren't enough. And there are times when a thousand words are, quite simply, overkill. Over the years I've found that the fewest words, direct from the heart, are almost always the most effective. However, we all run afoul of this at times in our personal and professional communication. We get sucked in to using grandiose and flowery phrases when a noun and verb will suffice.
Let me give you a prime example: the elegance and simplicity of the phrase "I love you". Just three words - but very powerful stuff requiring little to evoke a vivid mental image beyond description.
A picture isn't the only thing that is worth a thousand words. Silence can be worth that and more. As I mentioned above, silence exists in the pauses between the phrases, the moments that provide us with time for quiet reflection. Silence can also be reflected in the words that we don't use. As they say, silence speaks volumes. Either way, the context is critical.
There are times when words are necessary and perhaps even desired, and times when they aren't. But the same can be said for silence. There are times when it is of great benefit, when no words need to be said in order to get the full sense of presence and being in the moment. There are also times when silence - the choice of not saying words that might perhaps be better said - can be counterproductive at best and hurtful or spiteful at worst.
Much like the picture - so much said with nothing said at all.
Photo credits: abesselink