Conversion – Be Silent! #4

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You know someone who would like this on a  coffee cup.  You should get it for them.

Obviously we know how this quote relates to religion, in particular Christianity.  But it also relates to anyone who bullies another into silence in an argument.  Being able to win an argument, something many people think is of paramount virtue, is not really winning if all you actually do is cause the other person to be silent.


When I was married to my first wife I didn’t realize how intimidating and overpowering my way of communicating was.  I was from a loud, expressive and quick witted family, and didn’t have any experience to tell me there was anything negative about that.  But my wife didn’t come from that same background.  Her family’s way was soft, non-confrontational, non-argumentative.  I liked that about her and I was under the impression that our marriage was successful because we didn’t argue like my parents had.  


But I was mistaken. The reason we didn’t argue was because my wife was intimidated.  I wasn’t a belligerent, abusive man.  But I could be loud and defensive and I could argue until the cows came home.  Combine that with her quiet style and other elements of her personality and upbringing and what actually happened was she simply became silent.  Not converted, just silent.  I wasn’t always like that, I have many cards still stashed away from her telling me how much she appreciated my listening and caring.  But the truth is it doesn’t take much to intimidate, less than we are even aware of at times.


20 years after we got married we got divorced, in large part due to her having built up many, many years of silent resentment and regret.  I know I have many of those same traits, and I am not apologizing for who I am but I have worked to be more discerning of when to be those things and when not to. 


The goal for any of us who are like that is to have more control and more wisdom in knowing when we are trying to ‘convert’ rather than ‘converse’.
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Drawing by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily


Quote by Christopher Morley, 1890-1957, American Writer



Clamor – Be Silent! #3

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You should give this to someone on a coffee cup

I work from home and I like quiet there because I like to think. After all, it’s pretty much what being the Napkin Dad is all about.  When my wife stays home from work, or my daughter is home from school, they often will have a TV show on during the day that they like.  I have to focus that out to focus in on other things.  That can be hard to do.  I don’t mind it because it isn’t frequent and I think it’s perfectly fine for them to enjoy their down time watching ‘The Price is Right’.  but if they aren’t home I don’t have the TV on, or music for that matter (most of the time). I have a hard enough time focusing without those distractions.

How can you become self-aware if you are always surrounded by others’ clamor.  You need to face your own clamor of silence, your own thoughts, feelings, meanings, desires, failures, and confusions.  You can’t do that if you don’t allow yourself quiet.  Not emptiness, since you are surely not empty when you are quiet, you are just with yourself and have to face yourself.

It’s not that you have to be with yourself all the time, always evaluating, always wondering.  Often I think there is a sowing and harvesting aspect to self-awareness. You read, reflect, ponder, evaluate. All those are sowing seeds of self-awareness. Then you go out and act, be. That is the harvesting. You don’t need to think about who you are during that time, you just are.

Allow yourself time to be alone with yourself. It might be scary but it’s how you will grow.
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Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily

Quote by Rabindranath Tagore, 1861-1941, Bangladeshi poet and writer

Marriage – Be Silent! #2

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Your relationship needs this coffee cup

The intelligent people are the quiet ones. The strong, silent type is the epitome of the desired male.  One should listen twice as much as they talk.  All very nice sentiments, but the truth is in a relationship talking (and listening) is crucial.  If you don’t speak, if you don’t say what is going on, it becomes the rule. And you could very easily have a sorry end to the relationship as a result.

Sometimes one doesn’t talk because they feel the reaction will be negative, defensive, or angry. Those are actually understandable reasons to not want to communicate feelings, emotions and ideas.  No one likes to be dismissed, lectured or put down when they share vulnerable things.

It often takes courage to talk in a relationship, but the alternative is a deep seated frustration. It is ultimately unhealthy for oneself and the relationship.  Talk, even if it is scary.
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Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily

Quote by Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784, English writer



Disposition – Be Silent! #1

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Someone you know needs this on a coffee cup

Being one who comes from a long line of talkers, I should talk, right?  Well, I may not be the silent type but I am the good disposition type and I am quieter than I used to be.  So, I am making progress.

What about you, are you adept at either of these? Tell us how, give us pointers!
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Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily

Quote by Muhammad, 570-632 CE, Founder of the religion of Islam

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