and What’s Left Unsaid

Precision and brevity are the tools you learn to acquire at the temple. Achieving precision with fewer words: I can’t say I’ve mastered the skill, but at least now I recognise a person who is good at it.

It all comes down to this… “Yes or No?”

“Did you finish cleaning?”

Erm… Not 100% but…

“Have you started doing it?”

Well, I wanted to ask you about that.

“Do you like it?”

It is a bit salty, but it looks pretty… 

“Do you know it?”

I think I have heard the name before…

All of that is to be discarded with that phrase, mercilessly. 

Avoiding to say No by blurring the answer, shifting the focus of the question, answering a question with a question…

We all do these, whether consciously or not.

The ability to say just Yes or No can only be practised and cultivated over time. Never did I think it was so hard until I actually tried it. In fact, I had never noticed myself NOT doing it despite it being all the time… if that help you see the depth I was in?

Since I was asked this “Yes or No” question so many times, I became able to at least catch myself before “Yes but…”. But after a few days away from the temple, I am back to my old self. 

It makes me wonder how many words come out of my mouth without me being fully intentional? I am a writer. I use words for a living. Yet, I am faced with the challenge every day at the temple.

A silver lining of the challenge is that now I am more cautious and conscious of things left unsaid. Many things are left unsaid inside the temple. True kindness or thoughtfulness is usually not shown in words. When I start noticing these that are barely on the surface of communications, it humbles me.

There is a whole world that is just beyond my comprehension. And I just have to accept the infinite possibilities of my ignorance and opportunities to learn.


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