On my travels in the last week and fifty years, I've become acutely aware of volume of misinformation to confuse and muddle us all. The tiniest slip of the tongue can change the meaning of any sentence so that a words become murd-erous things. It may seem wrong to many the day after yet another memorial service commemorating millions dying that I should speak of silence, but really it is often the first way we best show respect. It is also prudent to take due care not to share the wrong information in even our simplest of tasks. It's bad enough that gossips enter into a game of Chinese whispers whereby the original facts get distorted without analysts adding to the mayhem by doing the same.
However, I have enjoyed the curiosity of children and animals in response. What with squirrels being photographed taking photographs these days and children inventing new words that perfectly encapsulate the state of us all I feel things are about as 'normal' as can be reasonably be expected considering the level of threats and concerns that abound at this time. While we still each have need to talk and share how things go wrong to avert troubles, what we do not need to do is share fears unsubstantiated by any facts. Opinions and hearsay are mere suppositions and theories and only one possible outcome. Our history as a species overall has proved to be far more positive when we take better care of what we say and when we choose to say it as well as when and where.
Personally, despite having learnt to be outspoken I have always preferred quiet conversations with small groups of people. I can perform in front of a audience well enough but I don't much enjoy either the adulation if it goes down well, nor the criticism from cynics when it does not. When we express ourselves, we are merely sharing our own experiences and those experiences are forever changing so that our opinions too ought to be adapting and moving with the times and the events that we encounter. The second we veer toward being hostile toward others we ourselves start to become dangerous to not only our adversaries but also our loved ones and, most of all, ourselves.
Sometimes it is far better not to respond at all to anything at least until a fuller picture of what is happening emerges. A jigsaw with a thousand pieces is not complete because you have found two of them. You might only have one piece each of two separate jigsaws but won't know it until more pieces are gathered in.
As a person who has always preferred quieter communication and few questions (ideally relevant to my priorities instead of that of other peoples) my ambition is to return to that mode which is how I started my life. Life always moves in cycles and I think it time for others to learn what I already know their own way with little input from me at all. It is their right to do so. I can only hope they make as few mistakes as I have and cause as little harm too.
For me this can only happen if words become less wuddled and the meaning of those we choose to use is much better understood and agreed by all. That is no easy challenge at a time when words like 'evil' and 'wicked' now mean quite the opposite of their original definition. Even the word rapture has come to mean death, destruction, annihilation instead of delight and joy. The answer to me is simple... you choose your own meaning, but be careful others know what you mean and never distort their intentions in return for them never doing that to you. That is and has always been one of our greatest challenges as chatterbox human beings and it is thanks to our tendency to speak more that we end up meaning less which is not the cleverest of things to do especially in dangerous times.
So here is another poem of mine, which interestingly to me at least was written early on in my life prior to entering adulthood and all the responsibilities that necessarily entails. Yes I shall continue to speak and write, just less often; and as far as I am able to, I will endeavour to choose my words and the timing of them far more carefully than ever before. Such is the effect of so many profound experiences among them, far too many avoidable losses of good people.
Ode To A Gossip
Voices murmur, mutter, chatter,
A constant droning, groaning sound,
Yet what they speak of does not matter,
“Keep on talking all day round.”
Yet if a silence fell upon them,
Would they strive to kill the pause?
Is it something forced upon them,
To speak, when there’s so little cause?