Rumi says, “as you start to walk on the way, the way appears.” It is not troll-free nor has it ever been. Trolls have always been available to distract and sow discord.
Theirs is not a world of substance but nothing stuns a troll like silence. If there is no reaction, if no one “bites the hook” as Pema Chodron teaches, the troll falls by the wayside.
Silence as a response is so powerful yet so misunderstood. Even our ego fights it. There’s no immediate gratification with silence. It’s a practice, like equanimity, open to the moment with a wide-angle lens.
Silence wrecks a rant, storms castles in the air to quell the noise so the worth of words is revealed. Silence takes us to the heart of what is happening without showing our hand. It’s our poker face, and a mindful one at that.
To listen without reacting, without correcting, without immediately offering an alternative, acknowledges the primal human need to be heard. We all want it. It’s what we do when we have the momentary spotlight that defines us, flaws and all.
The light of day is not for trolls. No boots on the ground for them. Theirs is not to reveal but to conceal, imply, and infer–one breadcrumb promise after another. Their tales are grim for theirs is an exclusive vision, not all allowed.
Silence shows me who they are time and again, but trolls are persistent and when my resistance wanes–I snap back–sometimes we are clever, both of us, but to what purpose? We don’t hear one another. It’s a waste.
We are too many on the earth not to offer something of substance every day. Sometimes, that’s silence. It’s how the world changes, slowly, our differences not on parade but part and parcel of the whole.
It’s the way.