March 21, 2007

Only tell others what is of importance to them. Only ask them what you need to know. In both cases, that is, limit the conversation to what the speaker possesses — Argue only in order to reach a conclusion. Think aloud only with those to whom this means something. Don’t let small talk fill up the time and the silence except as a medium for bearing unexpressed messages between two people who are attuned to each other. A dietary for those who have learned by experience the truth of the saying, “For for every idle word…” But hardly popular in social life.

~ Dag Hammarskjöld, from Markings

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