Biting your tongue can be useful
When you know that you have a mouth full of acid
And you will do more harm than good,
When you risk saying something racist, sexist and bigoted.
So you bite your lip because you realize
That what you have to say
Need not be said just yet, if at all.
And so you save yourself and your listeners
Some potential embarrassment.
But its not particularly useful
If you are biting it to hold back the truth
When you let someone off the hook
Not because it actually is ‘okay’
But because you realize that what you have to say
Actually really needs to be said
And if it come out – it could change everything.
It could turn a simple conversation
Into a heated confrontation,
It could expose your true convictions
And uncover what you really think about what’s going on.
And that’s costly.
But its a trade off between what is needed
For what is more convenient.
Those lips needed to be set free – and you bit them.
There is a reward for keeping quiet at the right time
It can calm an angry woman, soothe a grieving man.
And there are consequences to silence when words are needed,
It could perpetuate injustice and allow the truth to dwindle.
Its important to know the difference.