Friday, September 12, 2008


Pronunciation: \dis-kre-shun\ Function: noun Origin: 1250–1300; Middle English discrecioun
The word has two main meanings:
1-to determine guilt or innocence
2-to determine sentencing.
But also:
1-The quality of being discreet: circumspection; especially: cautious reserve in speech
2-The ability to make responsible decisions, maturity in manner and behavior, requiring thoughtfulness
3-The result of separating or distinguishing

Each of us lives our own story, a rich and incredibly complex tapestry with crossed threads, intricacies and entanglements, knots and snarls. We make conscious and unconscious decisions each moment: we choose our actions large and small and we have a choice, (usually), as to how we exist in the world. Our threads of life are inevitably connected to others, sometimes by choice, sometimes not.

We have a choice, usually, in what our words and actions reveal to the world, in what we reveal to our friends and those we love, and to complete strangers. We have a choice to use our discretion. Often we say things that are regretted...perhaps in anger, in a moment of weakness or vulnerability, or in a euphoric moment when good judgement has taken a momentary vacation. Sometimes these things are not perceived as valid by the listener. We are lucky when those things are said to a listener who has respect, forgiveness, love and understanding. We are not always lucky.

Discretion arises from maturity...the mature ability to not tell all you know, or believe you know. It doesn't mean to deny the truth or ignore the obvious, I think often it means just to know when to shut up. It also means to take time to really figure out if your own truth is valid...just because I believe something doesn't make it necessary to express it, and it certainly isn't always kind to express it. We're entitled to our opinions, but if we seriously want to make the world a better place, then we need to really pause a moment before putting them out there, especially when they can have so much potential to wound. This is a big, big place here, but it's also very small.

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