Hold your tongue, if you must

word game

Some insensitive friend suggested the title “Mouth of the South” for my first book which will be out by fall if I can talk my good friend, Lucille, into editing it for me.  

I was extremely offended.  I knew I talked too much, but “Mouth if the South”?  I’ve told many of you that my only serious new year’s resolution is too talk less and listen more.  I’m trying, really I am.  But if everyone listened, there would be no more communication.


I subscribe to a wonderful daily feed called “Seven Sentences for Creative People.” The author must have had me in mind when he wrote his seven sentences today

“In the realm of all knowledge and in the ever increasing multitude of 7.2 billion people on planet earth, even the most knowledgeable and the most connected person actually knows very little.

Yet some mouths just keep on talking, ranting, raving, lucidly sharing all that they know…

Unfortunately they won’t change the world with what they know and they certainly won’t change the world with who they know.

What actually changes the world?

The humble acceptance of our limited knowledge and the open desire to really know a stranger is probably a very good place to begin.

But the mouth must first stop talking and the ears must begin to listen for any global healing to occur at all.”


I tried my resolution on for size during my monthly chemo treatment and my oncology nurse asked me if I was feeling Ill or upset about something.  I cant win! I’m danged if I do and danged if I don’t. But I’m still trying to listen more, and babble less.  I think it’s just a nervous habit.

Someone once said its  “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”  

8 thoughts on “Hold your tongue, if you must

  1. Emily, Your comments bring to mind a phrase that I have often thought about…..”If God meant for us to talk more than listen, he would have given us two mouths and one ear”. I have often thought that my mouth is my biggest problem…..what comes out of it and what goes into it! Good thoughts for the new year.

  2. In the words of the immortal philosopher Jiminy Cricket, ” if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

  3. Twice this week I have really offended someone just telling the honest to goodness truth. I don’t want to lie, don’t want to offend, so shutting up may be the only way!

  4. My students all used to say that I talked a lot. (My friends already knew that.)
    I said, “O.K.–I will stop teaching the lesson and you can read silently from your book.” They all then said, “Keep talking!!” —-Imagine what a ladies’ luncheon would be like if no one talked. I am much more uncomfortable when people don’t talk than when they do !!! Of course there is a big difference in gossip and just pleasant conversation !!!

  5. We would all be better off of we remembered that 99% of what we say (and think) is simply our opinion. There are very, very few absolute facts in the world! If you think that some one’s hair would look much better cut very short, that does not make it a fact—–even if 15 others agree with you. It is simply an opinion! And this can be expanded to politics, religion, etc. This may sound weird—-but it certainly makes for a more peaceful life. (And, it is just my opinion.)

  6. Cousin, I enjoy your conversation, exuberance and energy..goodness knows we are Braddock’s and there is always a story and why would it be told to us if the teller was not interested in our take on it…. 😉 .

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