Sunday, November 21, 2010

Learning To Keep My Mouth Shut

Ok I know this will sound a little arrogant but I'm a very knowledgeable person on a lot subjects.
I  remember when I was a kid some of the people who I ran with use to say I had the gift of gab.
That gift of gab has been a blessing and a determent to me throughout my life.
Every new day brings a understanding that my gift of gab  is from God and should be treated with reverence.
One  shortcoming of mine is not listening to what others have to say with both ears.
Oh I  hear bits and pieces of what you are saying to me, once I think I got your premise my mouth and thoughts are off to the races,that's something that needs to be corrected.
I have had the privilege of having conversations  with people who are smarter and more knowledgeable then me, because of my desire to control and win and be seen as all that and a bag of chips ,I missed a lot of wisdom they had for me.
It dawn on me a few weeks ago when I encountered a older gentleman who started a conversation  on  spirituality,that it's not always necessary for me to add my two cents to every thing someone wants to part to me.
I don't remember the exact words today that the man said to me then,but I do remember they were profound at the moment and it was like God just came down and put some duck tape over my mouth  so  I could really hear what was being said,without me adding my commentary.
Oh I just love for people to know that I know just as much or more about the subject at hand or what is being discussed.
The who,what and where of that insecurity  that exist in me is something God and I are working on daily.
Often throughout the day I ask God for clarity and wisdom for the right words for  every  situations I may encounter.
I will share with you some of my thoughts on why the gift of gab can work for and against someone like me.
I see  others throughout the day engage in behavior or thinking that I know will lead them  down a road that is dark and unproductive for their lives.
Often I say nothing too many because I know they won't hear me for  many reasons.
But I do know deep down inside as a African-American Male in this country this society don't expect or want  clarity or wisdom coming out of me.
Honor and integerity coming from a African-American Male in this society is a oxymoron for many.
Maybe that's why I fight so hard to be heard and understood!
But there is a place for humbleness in my life and ,I'm going to  let it come into fruition despite the odds and other peoples expectations.


Solomon said...

I am feeling you on this post. It is frustrating trying to be heard and nobody will listen. Like you, it seems to be part of my DNA, and I have just recently decided to not kill myself trying to save people that do not want me to be the one to save them.

I say, "Hell with you all then,and go down with the ship."

I even give up trying to come with the subtle hits in them hopes people will hear me that way instead. Just a waste of good energy.

Like you said, "People in this society do not want to believe that an African American is capable of integrity or having wisdom much less that one might actually be this way."

Anonymous said...

Hey Big Mac,
Love the post about talking and listening. I like what you are working on. Some people aren't to a place where they can listen yet but they may hear you later or maybe not. I have African American friends who are wise and have much integrity and I am thankful they are my friends.

Moanerplicity said...

I've been accused of possessing that notorious G.O.G also.

You're correct. It's a Blessing bestowed upon one by The Creator, so it's best to maintain a sense of humbleness w/ it.

I actually enjoy being in the company of people who are smarter, more accomplished than myself. Much of the knowlegde I've acquired thru life has been somewhat auto-didactic, so those who are more learned than I become like teachers in my journey.

Being a Black man, I usually only speak when spoken to, as opposed to initiating conversations. I've found that listening is definitely the key to learning.


CareyCarey said...

What'sup Big Mac,

Well, of course I can speak on this subject... I love to run my mouth. And, if a person lurks around the Internet (long enough) they may see a topic being addressed in several different ways.

Thats what happened when I hit your spot (today).

Now, the following is a conversation I had at another blog, but I think it fits your post.

I once had a "client" that loved to run his mouth. Which, for the most part, always got him in trouble because his mouth opened before he thought about the consequences, or if anything he said would change the matters at hand. Well, I told him to shut the hell up. Really, in a 3 day period, he was not to engage in conversation unless it was imperitive that he do so. He had to carry a note book, and write down the times in which he wanted to speak (time and date), and what he "would" have said. He had to do this at that moment.

The challenge/goal was to get him to see if anything he would have said, would have changed any damnn thing. Also, if he had said what was on his mind, where might the conversation drifted, and the consequences of such.

"Carey, you've got to tell me how this ends. Did he learn anything? That's an interesting homework assignment, I'll have to store that away for myself. Heck, I might even do it for myself"

it's a great learning tool for everyone. It was passed down to me by someone that cared about me and my predicament. Like my client, I had/have a propensity to speak immediately after I am addressed, and/or whenever I believe my words are "needed" in a discussion. Well, one day my mentor simply told me that I did not have to repond to "everything". Basically, we were having a conversation and he was "schooling" me. But big mouth me always had to have a snappy reponse. Now, as we went deeper into the "everything" he explained the importance of answering "questions", which involves respect, and in some cases responsibilty, but other than that, it was important for me to consider why I was responding. Yet, more importantly, if anything I was about to say, would make any damn difference to the topic at hand.

Consequently, I had to look inside myself. You know, why did I really have a need say what I was about to say. Was it an unconscious stroking of my ego? Was it a need to be "right"? Was it a control issue? Was it a need to always have the last word? Was it a need to tell others how smart and wise I was?

Let me tell you Ashley, it was a learning process. Half of the mess I would have said, would not have made a damn different in the overall scheme of things. In fact, most of the mess that would have fallen out of my mouth, would have made things worse. Even if I was right in what I was saying, I might have hurt someone's feelings and/or they might have withdrawn from me, because, now, I may have made them fell uncomfortable (for various reasons).

The fruits from all of this painful labor comes through self discovery... "why I do the things I do". More importantly, when I did use the "just shut up" ideaology/concept, I was able to look back and see the fruits of my labor. Meaning... holding close to my chest, what I would have said, and then looking back, I soon realized my words (written or spoken)would not have changed a damn thing. Because in reality, and for the most part, nobody wants to hear our opinions unless they're askd for. Especially if they are different from theirs.

I was going to tell you how this worked for the "client", but maybe I've already worn out my welcome.

Reggie said...

I see we've got some of the same issues my brother.

At least you recognize what your issues are, some people just don't have a clue.

Daij said...

:) love this blog entry. I would say that I have the opposite issue, but when I do give my opinions, my mom listens. It could be the same thing my sister will say, but she knows that if I speak up, then it must be something she needs to hear.

BigmacInPittsburgh said...

Solomon:welcome and feel free to come by again,I'm slowly learning that sometimes you just have to let people go on their own!

BigmacInPittsburgh said...

calmcoach:Your wisdom is always welcome here,your post always hit me where they are needed!

BigmacInPittsburgh said...

Lin:As always your comments and posts go right to the heart of the matter.
No sugarcoating just plain truth!

BigmacInPittsburgh said...

Carey:Why do you think you have to censor yourself on my spot,I can't learn if you hold back.
Hell one of the reasons this blog spot was setup by me is in hope we as black folks in particular can start to honestly dialogue about issues that affect each other.
We have too many issues that get boggled up in our lives that need to be dealt with in a manner that is helpful and effective for our lives to be fruitful!

BigmacInPittsburgh said...

Reggie:You know I always have like your style of posting,always appreciate you sharing.

BigmacInPittsburgh said...

D:Thanks I'm glad you liked this post entry,it was real difficult for me to write,I thought about deleting it all day Sunday,but then I thought about a message I heard a few months back on the subject of courage.
So we just got to start having courage about what we really are feeling and trust that it will be OK!

Thrasher said...

Happy Thanksgiving..Appreciate you stopping by this year

alfred said...

Excellent blog.

Fancy the content I have seen so far and I am your regular reader of your blog.

I follow your blog and I like your way of posting.

I am very much interested in adding in my blog

I am pleased to see my blog in your blog list.

I would like to know whether you are interested in adding my blog in your blog list.

Hope to see a positive reply.

Thanks for visiting my blog as well !

Waiting for your reply friend !!!!!