Words can be weapons.
When words are sent into the world without careful consideration and impulsively, they can have a devastating effect and hurt. Poisonous words are always offensive and can terrorise. Bullying can be hell for children in school, for adults at work. It is the cause of many a deed of desperation. “We did not intend it that way”, is then the most common excuse. But what was the intention?
… is a tool that determines the sensitivity of your skin. This is very closely related to what tact is: the capacity to judge the sensitivities of human association correctly so as to act correctly and subsequently.
To be tactful is to be tactile : to have a sense of touch, a kind of subtle discernment to correctly sense people and circumstances.
To know when it is best to remain silent…
…is at the same time to know when to talk. For is it right to abandon someone to whom an injustice has been committed? Can we remain silent when disdainful words are spoken? To suffer from insulting remarks is very offensive, but neither is it a sign of tact when spectators remain silent in order to save themselves and not have to share in the mess.
The eternal middle course.
In fact it is about the capacity to sense when it is better to remain silent, thus about the correct silence. Just as it is about finding the right words at the right time. All this requires training. One needs to really become aware of which impact all this has on people and human association.
In essence it is important to remain kind in all circumstances. To return people in the most tactful way to themselves and each other. In this way one helps to keep the harmony, so that everyone can continue with themselves and each other.
Dutch version: Tact? Weten wanneer je beter zwijgt!