When silence is golden

I had a conversation this week with a fascinating individual in the business world that shifted to discussion around families.

Twist my arm and I’ll tell you 100 things about my crew (and show you pictures if we’re together in person).

This person shared with me the journey of parenthood and how this has looked different and has been a huge part of the life story, in a unique way that has come with both challenges yet blessings. I was both honored and thankful to hear this individual walk me through some career wisdom using these experiences as a parent.

Shortly thereafter we discussed blogging and social media. In my millennial thinking—you know, the day after the life changing experience, you need to post about it with the aim of vulnerability, transparency, and authenticity—I asked if there was a blog post about this parenting journey as just shared with me. I mean afterall, this person likes to share career advice on a blog so of course this was a blog post.

The individual kindly responded, “No, I have not shared this on the blog and never intend to.”

I immediately heard the lesson this kind and wise individual was sharing with me ever so graciously—

Some things just aren’t meant to be broadcasted and shared.

Years later, this person still put up a fence around this personal area of life. In an effort to love and cherish those in the closest circle known as family, this person chose to safe guard people over going viral and gaining over night blog subscribers… or whatever the virtual world has to offer.

I instantly needed this reminder and learned so much from a quick segment of our conversation. Not to say that personal matters in life should never be shared, not at all.

But I think what the world needs more of is folks like this individual—who know that we must safeguard some experiences—hardships especially—in an effort to protect and love those around us. It’s so easy to get caught up in “this is a great post about my life—vulnerability, relatability, and authenticity.” The strength and love in the story or experience is sometime best kept in confidence.

My husband would be so upset but since he doesn’t use social media I can get away with this (shhhh don’t tell him):

I remember a few years ago, he was selected as a golden ticket winner at our local Kohl’s. He was shopping at Christmas time to buy me a Kitchen Aid stand mixer and because of his selection, he was told he would get the entire purchase for free. He told them thank you but that there would be someone else coming in that he would rather have that ticket—and left it to the manager to decide how to bless someone else with this gift. He never told me—he never told a soul. The only reason I found out is that weeks later we were back in Kohl’s and the manager recognized him which then led him to tell me the story to eliminate my confusion after seeing them interact.

Ok, so the cat is outta the bag now on that story. But the beauty in that moment was that no one found out. Not a post on social media or a blog or any outlet to share the experience… and I so admired and loved that.

There is such humility and love and grace in choosing not to share some stories, and this lesson rang through this week. I am thankful for encouraging and gracious conversations that serve as a reminder to me.