Breaking a vow of silence to keep the peace

Amid isolation, petty grievances can boil over. Here’s one way for everyone to simmer down.

Inspiration break

Communicators, we know your colleagues are looking to you for news and information related to the pandemic. It can be anxiety-producing for many, which is why we’ve launched a series called “Inspiration Break.”

Consider sharing an inspirational story, anecdote or essay that offers perspective—or perhaps a chuckle, such as the one below. If nothing else, it’s a brief respite from an otherwise stressful day.

Those of us cloistered in our homes-turned-workspaces might well relate to the following tale:

* * *

The monks at a monastery in an isolated mountain village had taken a vow of silence. One day each year, one monk was allowed to break that vow and utter a sentence to his brethren before the start of their evening meal.

One year, Brother Paul was allowed to speak, and before the monks began their dinner, he said, “I am grateful for this delicious soup we are about to eat.”

The next year, it was Brother Timothy’s turn to speak. “I’m sick and tired of this bland, watery soup and anyone who likes it!”

The following year, Brother Mark had an opportunity to speak and said, “This wonderful soup can only be enjoyed by wonderful people.”

Another year passed; this time it was Brother John’s turn to offer a few words before the meal.

He said, “Brothers, this constant bickering has got to stop.”

Taken from Bits & Pieces

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