There is great power in the void of silence.
At times, it can be far harder to say or do nothing, than it is to say or do something. We are often too quick to react and to act, rather than just ‘let things be’.
There is such a call to take effective action in this world, but the older and wiser I get, the more I think that ‘effective inaction’ can hold even more power.
I do see the signs. The surgeon who sees more surgery than is actually necessary. The lawyer who sees more legal work than is required. The parent who parents more than is needed. The government that governs too much. And seeing these correlations, I must examine my own life and reflect: what is it, in my identity, that I do too much of?
What would happen if we chose not to engage in our conversations, in our communities, in our world? Would we end up with a better, or worse, result?
What if we just helped to make space for people, rather than followed our desire to fill the space, or fill the silence?
For me, there is a strong link between fear and intervention. The fight, flight or freeze responses are all primitive ‘stimulus-responses’ to threat and fear. It’s no coincidence that such reflexes are called ‘knee-jerk reactions’. But what if we didn’t allow fear to control us? Perhaps if we all learnt to deal with our own fears, we would intervene far less.
I have to admit that this is a line of thinking for me, rather than something I am particularly good at putting into practice.
For myself, I ponder that the best kind of intervention is, more often than not, no intervention at all. A silent intervention.
I would love to know your thoughts on this in the comments section below.