This man didn’t speak for seventeen years. I usually don’t go 17 minutes without speaking. And if I’m not speaking, I’m texting.
But 17 years. Imagine not speaking a word from birth to your senior year of high school. Imagine the things you would hear and learn.
His name is John Francis and not only did he not speak, he also did not ride in any form of transportation involving oil. He walked from his home in southern California to college in Oregon, then to graduate school in Montana. It took him 7 years but he walked across the entire United States without speaking. What sparked his Forrest Gump like behavior? He realized that he spent so much time arguing and speaking that he never really listened. It was supposed to only last a day. But a day turned into a year which turned into almost two decades.watch at 4:12
He started talking again after studying the environment. He realized the environment included people and how we treat each other. And to spread that message he would have to speak.
Now I have no intention of taking a vow of silence, but I do think it is wise to think about what you say before you say it. Do your words have meaning, are they positive, are they helpful? Or are they just noise?