Choosing Not To Opine

As a wedding officiant, I invite the couple to choose a reading or two for their ceremony. A favorite is the beautiful passage from 1st Corinthians with the message that "love is patient; love is kind...."

What I've noticed throughout this past year is that another common wedding selection from Ecclesiastes is particularly appropriate for all of us:

"there is a time to speak and a time to keep silent."

Ryan Holiday recently posted a quote from the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius: "We have the power to hold no opinion about a thing and to not let it upset our state of mind—for things have no natural power to shape our judgments."

Imagine. We have the power not to have an opinion. That doesn't mean that we agree with everything or ignore what we believe to be wrong or even evil.

But why get so upset? Why stress out over things or people that you cannot control. Since our energy is finite, the question is "How are we going to spend it?" Are we looking online for ego-stroking affirmation by convincing people that our "side" is the correct one? Do we relish arguments for the sake of winning over someone? Can we be okay keeping quiet and not needing to express ourselves always? Please believe that I know how hypocritical this sounds coming from someone who writes two blogs a week!

But think about it: to choose not to share an opinion is absolutely freeing and humbling. It's freeing because I don't have to CLING to my thinking and fortify my castle and prepare my defenses; it's humbling in that most people probably don't care what I think anyway. That's not something to take personally- it's just the truth. Folks just have more important things to do than being cajoled or persuaded by ideology or philosophy or opinions.

Back to the opening image... perhaps more couples might benefit from knowing when to speak and when to stay quiet.


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