Judge Lawrence Huerta: Enriching Our Lives
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Enriquezca Su Vida
(Enriching Your Life)

A self-published book by Judge Lawrence Huerta
©1968.

translation by Anthony Nuño, 1999.

CHAPTER XIII:
"SILENCE AS DISCRETION"

"A wise old owl sat upon an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard
Why aren't we like that wise old bird?"

-- EDWARD HERSEY RICHARDS

There is no doubt that man is a social animal. During the majority of his life he likes to spend time with other people. The ability to communicate with other people inspire us to look for the company of other people, and to talk about our problems and common issues.

When you are talking to somebody, have you tried to determine how interested the other person is in what you are saying? And vice-versa, are you listening to half of what they are saying? Instead, are you thinking about what you are going to say? During an ordinary conversation, it is hard to find someone who is really interested in what the other person is saying. The truth is, and we should admit it, we are totally involved with ourselves. We are convinced that our ideas are the best and we promptly communicate them to others. The fact that we consider our little corner as the best, is understandable, since we have absolute control and understanding over it. But instead of trying to expose our point of view and conclusions, why don't we keep quiet and allow the other person to talk? While we listen to this person, let's be truly interested in what they are saying. Let's discover the reason behind what they are saying. I assure you, as you listen to this person you will be transported to their world and will understand their point of view.If you try to acquire this talent, soon you will be surprised about how others seek to enjoy your company. I guarantee it. Perhaps you also want to say something too. Well, you can and should. Then, talk to the person who is most interested in you---Yourself! I should make clear that I am not advising you to become an incoherent maniac, but instead, I suggest that you find a peaceful moment, forget the world, to have a quiet and introspective meditation. Then, during those moments of meditation is when you will discover the paths to success. During those peaceful moments you will become aware of your potential and you will be able to plan your strategy. Also, you will be able to reevaluate your ideas and thoughts. Then, you will be ready to put them into action. Your personal efficiency will improve due to your solid foundation.

People have the tendency to discuss with other people their projects, ideas, plans and theories. Nobody understands that this is a mistake. First of all, it is impossible for other people to examine and value other people's ideas and projects. When such plans and ideas are communicated, these plans are soon influenced by other people's point of view, and they always find something they could change. Now, if it is advice you are looking for, it is better to seek professional advice from someone who is not personally involved, and even then, this advice will not be free of influences. As the old saying goes, "Everybody lives in his own world." In any case, the final decision depends on your self-confidence and self-reliance. You must trust yourself. With a positive and correct attitude, your plans and ideas can be successful but, if you make a mistake, there will only be you to criticize or laugh at.

Solitude and complete isolation represent a place where we can reflect about our issues and our minds can think clearly without confusion. Every person, either a child or an adult should have a daily moment of quietness. Try to do it. Don't deny yourself the joy of this reinvigorating peaceful rest when you find yourself in the middle of this hurried world. There are those who can't be alone for a few moments. These people inspire pity because they are only trying to escape from themselves and the need to confront their inner thoughts. These people make those around them miserable because of their neurotic nature to seek attention and their constant criticism and empty conversation.But one must be firm with them and tell them that our quiet moment must be enjoyed if one expects something useful out of it.

The result when we listen quietly is that one learns to understand the person who is talking. There are some people who can only communicate with others of their own social and intellectual level; there are some who can communicate with anybody regardless of social or intellectual level. Now, consider this point, the bigger the number of people you communicate with the more you widen your horizons.

When I was young and a student in Law School, I had to work to pay for my education. The best paying job I could find was inside a mine in the outskirts of Tucson. Working at the mine during the night and attending Law School during the day was a difficult task. But I found out during this time that I lived and learned one of the most valuable social experiences of my life. I started and developed profound friendships with my co-workers at the mine and with the college students. These friendships still exist today. During this time, I met some of the most diligent people in both places. It was an interesting situation since the people with whom I worked at the mines did not know that I was studying law and the other law students did not know that I was working as a miner. Thus, when I was at both places, I was different from the others. I lived a double life in silence but I assure you that I was the same person in both places. This proved to me that one can be a healthy normal social being anywhere. If we would loose our language, I believe we would understand each other because the language of signs and gestures is universal. In order to accomplish this social disposition, we must be quiet and urge others to speak. I can sincerely say that the miners with whom I used to talk to as well as the law students contributed in the formation of the good judgment inside of me, and it was because I listened and learned from what was being said.

Silence is something precious and only through it can we acquire knowledge either by quietly listening to others or by reading and communicating with ourselves. There is no doubt, silence is gold. PRACTICE IT.

DO YOU LISTEN TO THE PERSON WITH WHOM YOU ARE TALKING?

Are you sincerely interested in the problems presented to you? How important are friends to you?

DO YOU KNOW HOW TO KEEP QUIET?

Do you ask too many questions, engage in curiosity, and try to know other people's lives? Do you engage in gossip regarding your co-workers?

HOW DO YOU BENEFIT FROM YOUR SILENCE?

Have you learned how to use silence to identify the good qualities in your friends and acquaintances?

CHAPTER XIV