Why You Trippin’?
“Better to trip with the feet,” he once said, “than with the tongue.”
~Lives of the Stoics, Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman
The above quote is attributed to one of the earliest Stoic philosophers, Zeno. It’s so simplistic, and yet, so powerful.
A lot of good advice is like that. There’s often no need to say a lot of words to convey a lot of meaning. In fact, I’ve found in my own life that it’s okay to be comfortable with silence.
When something bad happens, we often feel like we need to say something to convey our condolences. And when we feel like we have to break the silence, we say something stupid.
We don’t mean to. We just don’t know what to say, and what ends up coming out really shows that we don’t know what to say.
There’s a proverb that says, “Better to remain silent and thought of as a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” Same idea.
When I was in youth ministry, I remember having a conversation with my group about thinking before we speak. I told them, “If you feel like you have to say something, say it in your head first. If it sounds dumb, don’t say it.” This advice went unheeded most of the time.
But, it doesn’t have to for you, dear reader! After all, as Zeno reminds us, is far better to fall flat on our face, than to say something irrevocably stupid. Okay, that’s not exactly what he said, but you get the point.