I grew up in a family who loved to talk. Often that talk degenerated into arguments, each one certain that his/her opinion was the only valid one. And arguments can often result in hurt feelings. My dad used to say, “A gentleman is one who has more concern for the other person’s rights than for his own feelings, and for the other person’s feelings than his own rights.”
But how to accomplish that? I found two helps, both of them from the pen of Ellen White.
First: “Love is the strongest power in the world.” Not argument, not even truth, love is the strongest power.
Second: “The silence that is golden will often do more than all the words that can be uttered.” Whether it is one’s spouse or one’s child who is upset, passionate, or angry, a kindly silence can avert ugliness and bring peace.
I believe there is great truth in the jingle, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” That little rhyme tells us that arguing is a dead-end street. Usually we only become more determined that we are right. If I do not make a person defend his position he is at liberty to change it. That is one great advantage of silence.