Power and destruction in silence

By Isqil Najim

There are many times in life when silence is our best refuge to escape a big dilemma. Many people think you have to deny/reply every wrong accusation or negative attack because you cannot afford to let your hard-earned reputation goes into ruin. This is not always straightforward. 

You can be right, capable of destroying your accuser with reply but that reply may sometimes, carry with it, a long term pain that will be heavier than what you wish to avoid. It could expose you to counterattack.  

In situation like this, silent or ignoring your accuser serves a perfect antidote. Truth will reveal itself later...

I experienced one in primary school. A toy gun went missing while everyone was on break, so i heard. I was accused of being the thief. I didn't even know what the gun looked like. I really had no defense. My accuser claimed I was only one who didn't go out for break and therefore must be the thief. It was true I didn't go out, but I was asleep! 

My bag was searched and my body subjected to humiliation. Nothing was found on me. I was too shocked for words. Silence was my only refuge. They followed me home to ensure my parent pay for replacement. Three days later, the real thief was caught. He was same person who led the accusation against me! Even the teacher was now too ashamed to look me in face. What can a child do? Silent!

Most times I handle awkward situation silently. This is a contrast to outspoken me when it comes to marshalling a point in an open discourse. So many people do not understand but I do. Wisdom doesn't come in a manual instruction.

Once a guy cheated me of joint concept. I didn't complain or confront. I lost nothing. He couldn't read my mind so he avoided me for years. I moved on, actually. One day he needed my help and went through an elder I respected. They came and the elder made his case. I asked "I hope I won't regret this like before?". 
"Have you met each other before?" elder ask.
I looked the guy in face with unreadable expression. 
Silent! Silent!!

When someone who is naturally outspoken and not shy become uncomfortably quiet. Many things may be running on his mind. It could be his moment of grief: many people express grief and disappointment in silence and not by shedding tear or agonizing shriek. It could be his only means not to offend you for if he speaks, you will feel a pang of anger. It could be guilt conscience, If he were the guilt party. Either way, silent conveys powerful message only genuine conversation can decode. Who moves first? Silent!

What about the oppressor, the leader abusing his authority, the mighty one? You can't distant yourself from their presence and you aren't human in their presence. If you strike you are dead! If you don't strike you are still at their mercy! And you need to hit without hitting? Take counsel in an Ethiopian proverb. You do not exactly need to apply in same way but you can improvise: here is it:
"When the great lord passes, the peasants bow deeply and silently fart”😜 And then, silent!!!!🤠

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