What is Discretion?|
As William Shakespeare noted, "Discretion is the better part of valour". These words from his play, Henry IV, Part One, are as true today as they were when penned several hundred of years ago.
Sir Francis Bacon agreed when he said, "Discretion of speech is more than eloquence; and to speak agree - ably to him with whom we deal, is more than to speak in good words or in good order".
The point that these two gentlemen were making is that we should consider our words very carefully and speak only good of someone. We must bravely avoid attitudes and actions which will cause trouble or the risk of destroying a relationship. Take care not to say or do privately what you would not want to explain in public.
Through discretion we demonstrate good manners and tact- the good judgment and sensitivity to avoid embarrassing or upsetting others in some manner. Our discretion also gives security to friends, family and acquaintances who will feel confident that we are trustworthy and able to keep sensitive information confidential.
Simplemindness, on the other hand, is displayed daily in the media, in books, movies and television, in our schools, homes and workplaces. This lack of discretion is manifest in gossip, bullying, backstabbing, dishonesty and insensitivity to others. Simplemindness negatively affects all facets of our society.
Becoming a person of discretion means that sometimes an individual must stand alone in actions and deeds. Discretion allows us the ability or power to act responsibly. It provides us opportunities to learn from mistakes made.
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