I can relate to that! Like a tree, I don’t always say what I want to say. I try to think things through carefully, and usually, I determine that silence is the best course of action. Now, usually, this is because I believe in the old saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all” (know what I mean?).
Then, there are other times that I will hold my tongue because I don’t want to be the guy that states what I believe must be obvious to everyone around me.
“Most trees are introverts at heart.”Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
Like Red discovered in this story, it can be difficult to know when to speak up, especially if doing so may be frowned upon. In Red’s society, speaking to certain types of people was forbidden, even if doing so would prevent pain or wrong-doing. There were many times in her hundreds of years that she wanted to speak, that she did not, because she believed remaining silent was the right thing to do.
In our society, it seems that we can be a little too eager to speak, when we should be quiet, and we are quiet when we should speak. For Red, it was about choosing the right moment, the right circumstance to break the rule and speak. We all have a backstory, some of it is filled with love and joy, and all too often, much of it filled with pain and discomfort, some of which we have learned from.
I’m not suggesting that we freely share every detail of the drama in our lives, because we each have plenty of our own that we don’t really need to share it with others. But when you see someone who is hurting, speak to them in love. If you see someone who may be hurt (or hurting), especially by the words or actions of others, speak to them and encourage them and love them.