The Meaning of Silence

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Is silence a good thing or a bad thing–what does it really mean?


On the plus or neutral side:


Silence can mean modesty and humility–you withhold speaking out of turn or having a big mouth; you recognize that you don’t know everything and what you do know is not intended to put down or shame others. 


Silence can means secrets and privacy–you don’t say everything; you treat information properly based on need to know and propriety of sharing. 


Silence can mean good situational judgement–that you know prudently when to let others have their say, or when your opinion isn’t really welcome, or when it’s best to just stay below the radar. 


Silence can mean you simply don’t know–and it’s something you need to listen and learn more about rather than speak; it’s why we’re told that we have two ears and one mouth.


Silence can mean that maybe you don’t care about something–why get fired up or “waste your breath” on it when it’s just not your thing.


When can it be a negative:


There was a sign in the local school window that silence means (wrongful) acceptance; that is also something I learned in in the Talmud in yeshiva; if you see something wrong and don’t say or do something, you are (partially) responsible.


Silence can mean fear–perhaps you don’t accept something, but you’re afraid to speak truth or morality to power; you sit silently cowering, when you should stand up tall and speak out. 


Silence may also mean shame–you’ve done something wrong or don’t want others to know something that could make you look bad or put you in jeopardy. 


Silence can mean you are hiding something–it can be that you don’t trust or aren’t trustful; silence at a time when you need to answer or respond can result in suspicion about why you are “holding back,” instead of being forthcoming and truthful.


When to talk and when to remain silent? 


Certainly, “you have the right to remain silent.”


We need to use words with care and intent–to always seek to help and not to hurt. 


Words are so potent–the mouth is perhaps the strongest part of the human body, just like the pen is mightier than the sword. 


That’s why I pray that G-d put the “right words” in my mouth–to be constructive, positive, effective and impactful–to do good as much as possible with words and with silence. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Shock Value Gets The Ball Rolling

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There is definitely something to be said for shock value. 


When you do or say something that is S~H~O~C~K~I~N~G.


And it jolts the other person out of their daily stupor so that they really take notice. 


It’s hard to stand out in a global population of over 7.2 billion people and counting. 


Everyone wants to be special, unique, have an impact, and make a difference. 


It’s our answer (partially) for why we are here and why it matters.


Our life is a journey and it can be a log slog if we don’t have a purpose and meaning in it all. 


We look to the One Above for guidance, meaning, love, and protection.


But we also have to look at ourselves in the mirror…what are we doing with our lives. 


Shock value doesn’t mean real value…it’s just the initial jolt to get noticed…like that purple and green spiked hair or those sparkly shoes you adorned. 


So you have to take the initial jolt and make it into deep impact–by touching not just a cord, but the nerves that run through. 


In Florida, there was a funny sign along the highway with that shock value that said something like this:


“Your Wife Is Hot So Call {X} To Fix Your A/C!”


What did you say about my wife? 


You know you’re right, I do need to invest in better air conditioning! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

It Takes A Village

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I wanted to share some good tidbits about effective management, collaboration, and engagement that I heard this week at a Partnership for Public Service event.


It Takes A Village – No I don’t mean the book by Hillary Clinton, but rather the idea that no one person is an island and no one can do everything themselves. Rather, we need the strengths and insights that others have to offer; we need teamwork; we need each other!


2-Way Communication – Traditionally, organizations communicate from the top-down or center to the periphery (depending how you look at it).  But that doesn’t build buy-in and ownership. To do that, we need to have 2-way communication, people’s active participation in the process, and genuine employee engagement.


Get Out Of The Way –  We (generally) don’t need to tell people how to do their jobs, but rather develop the vision for what success looks like and then get out of the way of your managers and people. “Make managers manage and let managers manage” and similarly, I would say, hold people accountable but let people work and breath!


Things Change – While it’s important to have consistency, momentum, and stay the course, you also need to be agile as the facts on the ground change.  “Disregard what’s not working, and embrace what is.” But you must stay open to new ideas and ways of doing things.


This is our world of work–our village–and either everyone helps and gets onboard the train or they risk getting run over by it. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

People Nutrition

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This is an risque t-shirt this lady is wearing.


It’s a big nutrition label. 


And she’s wrapped in it!


I’m not sure if this is a gag or fashion statement or even a sexual thing.


Is she advertising that she’s like the food?


What was really funny though is by her butt…it says 


“Moschino chocolate tastes good.”


Maybe that should be a black box warning!


Uh, this is way too much information for me. 😉


(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Check The Clock

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So it should be so easy…


We manage time by the hours and minutes–and moments of life. 


This sign was hilarious though:

Breakfast 6 am – 10 am
Lunch 11 am – 2 pm
Dinner 4 pm – 7 pm
We are here to serve you any time.

Really, if you’re here to serve us any time, then isn’t that mean around the clock–24/7–and not just the total 10 hours listed?


What a ridiculous contradiction!


It reminded me of another crazy story of the person who when you ask what time it is, they tell you how to make the watch.


Yes, the point has definitely been missed by the other person.


Their explanation may be very detailed and even accurate on how to make a watch, but frankly they missed the point altogether, which was simply what time is it!


We need to pay attention to our communications and be honest and actually say what it is, and not beat around the 24-hour bush. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Trouble With Communication

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So I remember this old comedy skit showing the problem with communication.


There is a deaf guy trying to communicate with a blind guy.


Boy, this is a real conundrum.


The deaf guy communicates with sign language that the blind guy can’t see. 


And the blind guy communicates by talking which the deaf guy can’t hear. 


So neither are getting any messaging across. 


This is sort of like every day life, where people communicate talking past each other. 


Each may only be concerned with what they feel, think, and have to say. 


They don’t really care to listen or understand the other person. 


It like the blind and deaf guy communicating and neither can hear the other. 


Most importantly, we need to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. 


To think from their perspectives, and to communicate having in mind to fulfill for the other person–what’s in it for me (WIIFM).


In Judaism, their is an important teaching that each person is an entire world unto themselves.


We need to be sensitive to their world and speak our mind, but definitely in their language. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Fake Media

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So it’s not supposed to be this way. 


While of course, there is a media bent, it’s not supposed to be a downright bias–the media’s job is to report the news, not take absolute sides. 


Yet these days, the alt-left media seems most hell bent on incessantly attacking the President and working to delegitimize him.


And the President is calling the news media, “the enemy of the American people.”


Russ Limbaugh commented: “The media did not make Donald Trump and they can’t destroy him.”


It started with the election when biased media outlets “ordered employees to destroy Trump“and tried to convince Americans that he absolutely couldn’t win


And only 4 weeks into the now Trump presidency, they are calling that “Congress should impeach Donald Trump.”


What type of Democracy is this?


For eight years, Obama ruled and the media glowed bright with near endless praise–even when things went very wrong, the media played the Secret Service and took the bullet shielding Obama’s every move.


Now with the Trump, the media is no longer the Praetorian Guard, but the the assassin in waiting–plotting and maneuvering for their chance to fire the fatal shot. 


Will it be Flynn, the Russians, the Islamic Terrorist immigration ban or something entirely else. 


The media has the people’s ears…they can spread the news or seed gross and even malicious propaganda. 


While Trump wants to put America First, many media outlets are instead looking to put Trump out to his final pasture. 


When they are targeting the President in such a merciless and endless barrage of negativity and hate, can even President Trump survive? 


While the alt-left media–with funding by billionaire George Soros–kicks and punches away with every article and news segment, it’s our democracy that is surely taking the power beating and dying the death of bias and overthrow. 


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)