Rule 38. It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.
This quote is attributed to Mark Twain, or Samuel Clemens rather.
Sometimes I ask myself if I should talk, more often than not, if I need to ask that question I shouldn’t. Generally speaking off the cuff is a bad idea, there are occasions when it is either necessary, but not usually.
Discretion is defined by Webster’s 1828 as: Prudence, or knowledge and prudence; that discernment which enables a person to judge critically of what is correct and proper, united with caution; nice discernment and judgment, directed by circumspection, and primarily regarding ones own conduct.
This is perhaps one of the hardest things to master in life, to say the proper thing at the proper time.
When wisdom entereth into thine heart and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul. Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of the evil from the man that speaketh froward things. – Prov 2:10-11
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. – Prov 17:28