The tongue truly is a two-edged sword. It flings out what cannot be brought back. It inflicts cuts that do not heal. It severs relationships and stabs hearts.
I have often dolefully regretted what I’ve said, but very seldom regretted keeping silent. It’s not too hard to see why silence is such a major element in a spiritual life. The less we say, the less “wounds” we are capable of inflicting. There is, additionally, the strong appendage to the tongue of the “self.”
If we listen to ourselves sometimes – to what we are actually saying to others – we will clearly see how much of what we say is, in various ways, about ourselves. Silence, therefore, is not just a way of muffling the tongue but of muffling the “self.” The quiet person seems more apt to be reflective, wiser, and deeper than the loquacious individual.
The tongue has the capability to close the door to the mind. Again, if we truly think about it, there can be little regret in keeping silent except in instances that deny the self and support, forgive, or encourage another. One would think that the inner comfort of keeping silent would be enough motivation to keep the tongue in check, but the self wishes to assert itself and pops out through the tongue – with regretful timing! Let my answers be “yes’ or “no” – all else is vanity!