On silence

Plutarch writes

Before you speak, reflect on the following

  • what is this word that is so eager for utterance
  • to what is this tongue marching
  • what good will come of speaking now or what harm of silence

He proceeds to ask

if words are neither useful to the speaker, nor necessary for the hearer, nor contain any pleasure or charm, why are they spoken?

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

31 thoughts on “On silence

  1. atheistsmeow says:

    Personally, I like to be quiet.

    I actually do not like to talk, & would rather just listen.

    Keyboards are great for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shhh! Be quiet! I’m reading.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hariod Brawn says:

    Plutarch’s question appears (erroneously) to presuppose a thinker of thoughts. Thoughts occur due to sense contacts and conditioning; it’s more a question of chance than necessity. 🙂


  4. shelldigger says:

    I see this as having the wisdom to know when speaking up is necessary, towards a worthwhile purpose. As well as understanding what kind of shit storm you may jump into by speaking words that might be best left unsaid.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Silence is golden.”
    “Loose lips, sink ships.”
    “He who talks most, says the least.”
    “Good listeners are hard to find.”

    Talkaholics are often associated with narcissism and neuroticism. Such individuals hold their own thoughts in high esteem while placing little value on the thoughts of others. This compulsive behavior can also be aggressively tactical, intentionally done to drown-out contradictory ideas or persons perceived as competitors.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. john zande says:

    A lesson sorely needed.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Peter says:

    I always loved this quote:

    ‘It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.’
    Variously attributed to Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain

    Sounds like something Mark Twain would have said. It is advice I should apply to myself at times.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. As a government press officer I learned the value of minimalism. Later, working for the health service I was responding (on the phone) to a Daily Telegraph reporter who lived near my parents. He told them I was very good because he couldn’t get a useful word out of me.


  9. […] While the men engage in a brutal physical competition which often leaves them hurt (sometimes for life), the women are divided into two separate groups, one supporting each of the competitors. They’re expected to chant and do dances that on occasion even resemble sex acts. During this process it’s required they be scantily clad, further enforcing their servile role in the tribal structure. The more troubling aspect of these customs regards age. Very young teens are encouraged, one could even say indoctrinated, into embracing their own socio-cultural subservience by taking part in this activity. This means we’re talking about a “civilization” that is irredeemably inferior to our own and incompatible with our values. Unless I tell you I’m not describing Sub-Saharan Africa, but Texas. And the brutal competition is football; and the scantily clad women are cheerleaders. How does it all look now? I can see you smiling there in the corner, Makagutu! […]


  10. Real real me says:

    This is really popular lately, a doctor had published it on Facebook.
    I am usually quiet, but I think too much instead of talking unnecessary things.


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