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‘Less said is best said’

Posted October. 11, 2021 07:21,   

Updated October. 11, 2021 07:21


“I will not say everything” from “Letters from Father” by Jung-min and Dong-wook Park

I thought of these words, which I cherish. It was written by old-day scholars in letters to their offspring. As parents, I imagine they would have much to say and much on their minds. However, they usually ended the letters with “I won’t say everything,” which I find so elegant yet aloof. I tried to execute on this, but it isn’t easy. Once the words come out, I tend to say everything that comes to mind.

Recently I met with a theatre director to make revisions on a play. He logically explained the background of why certain aspects needed to be changed. His points were reasonable, and he said everything that he wished to change. I nodded and agreed, but oddly enough I no longer felt any passion.

I had another meeting with a playwright to discuss revisions. My points were valid, and I felt excited because my counterpart seemed to agree. I ended up saying everything on my mind. He looked down and I felt empty after he left.  

You don’t always feel better after saying all the things on your mind. You need to leave some things unsaid and stop there. Sometimes the relationship gets worse if you define everything right or wrong. It’s the same thing with plays. If you express everything you feel, there is no room for the audience to join. You need to know how to stop at the right juncture. If you leave no room for space, there is no beauty.  

The election season has arrived, and the picture gets uglier each day with slander towards one another. If you say everything, you are considered telling the truth. If you don’t, you are seen as hiding from a conspiracy. Is it necessary to push one at the end of the brink to define who really wins? If the rule of politics run on “winner takes all,” the person who loses is destined to be doomed forever. Under the rules of Go, players stop the game when they see a flower five because both sides know that further play is useless as the flower will wither. Hence, not all words need to be said.