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Are we obligated to say everything we know?

There’s a difference between being dishonest and being discrete.

Keeping your thoughts to yourself isn’t the same as being a liar.

I may not like the way a person’s voice sounds when they speak, but that doesn’t make it mandatory for me to tell them my truth without being asked.

There are situations where we may know the truth, but it might not be our place to be the ones who proclaim it.

There are also instances where we’re privy to important facts, but the timing may be bad for revealing them.

Furthermore, the mere fact that someone has a question does not mean we’re obliged to give an answer.

Curiosity is not morally compelling nor is the refusal to satisfy it unethical.

Here’s today’s two cents:

Sometimes, the world can go on without us giving our opinion. It’s not always necessary, healthy, sane, wise, or kind to reveal everything we know, just because it’s true, without thinking about other important factors like respect, timing, sensitivity, and the overall effect we’d like to have on our audience. Speak the truth, but don’t forget to let silence have the last word every once in a while.


T.K. Coleman

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Hi T.K., this is a topic, I, too, have given a lot of thought. I tend to be too quiet because I was brought up without space for expressing my opinions. But I definitely agree that choosing when and what to say with a thought to kindness first makes for much better communication. I like this very much, “Keeping your thoughts to yourself isn’t the same as being a liar”. In my process of learning when, where and how to express my thoughts, feelings, opinions, I have stumbled upon thinking that I was withholding, or lying when choosing to say nothing. Now I know to choose wisely and as you write, with thought to respect, timing, sensitively and how I want people to hear me. I know a lot of people who could use a good dose of this 2 cents post!! 🙂

    1. Hi Audrey,

      Cheers 🙂

      I know what you mean when you talk about the journey of having to learn how to open up and express ourselves honestly, then having to learn how to balance that out with discretion and selectivity of speech. I was brought up in the opposite way…where I constantly felt prodded and pushed to have something to say. I’ve had to learn that I am not dumb, dishonest, or flighty simply because I opt out of sharing my viewpoint on something. This is issue seems to coming up a lot during political season especially. Although politics is an emotionally charged topic for many people, many of those same people insist on trying to make everyone around them talk about how they’re going to vote or what they think of candidate x or candidate y. Choosing not to speak on a subject like that, when others feel you have an obligation to do so can be challenging. But I am learning to assert my right to be silent in areas where I wish to be silent. Thanks for chatting with me here, Audrey.

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