Life Quotes...and what they mean to me.
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” Abraham Lincoln
Okay, now this is just funny. :-)
But I think the underlying wisdom is this: Sometimes it's wiser to listen than to speak. Sometimes more can be gained by observing than jumping in. Sometimes we need to just sit back and learn...rather than try to teach what we clearly don't know. Granted, I'm all for speaking one's mind; standing on principal; and being bold in our mistakes (it's far better to try and fall short than to be so gripped by fear that we don't try anything. Mistakes are how we learn, and being fallible is the one common denominator in the human experience: No one is perfect). Furthermore, I'm not one to put too much emphasis on making decisions based upon what "other people" may or may not think; after all, unless we're true to ourselves, everything we give to others is counterfeit, anyway.
It is the wise soul who can admit when he or she just doesn't know something. There is a form of confidence...and intelligence...in silence. Not to mention a grand opportunity to learn.
So, if I'm taking this quote at face value, then being silent -- when we just don't know -- is a form of standing on principal, not caring what others think...not needing to open our mouths and pretend. It doesn't make us less than someone else to be ignorant about something; that only means we haven't yet been taught. And it doesn't make us stupid to say, "honestly, I just don't know." That only means we haven't yet been shown. But to be fully aware that we're out of our depth; to know without question that whatever is being said may as well be Greek; and then to precede, just the same, to boldly shout our lack of understanding from the tallest mountain top...
Well now, that's just funny. ;-)