Even a Fool Is Counted Wise …

Proverbs 17:28  

Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.

There is wisdom in listening and not rushing to say the first thing that comes to mind. Though Solomon stated this principle as a matter of how things appear, staying silent and pondering a matter can actually be the starting point for acquiring true wisdom.

A related point is made by the famous saying, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt” (which has been attributed to various people, including Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain). This saying may be more humorous, but it doesn’t seem to hold out the same possibility of hope.

For more about what we say or don’t say, see the section on “The Joys and Challenges of Communication.”

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