Silence Can Be a Dreaded Weapon

The famous adage that it is better to keep quiet and they think you are a fool than speak and they confirm you are one, doesn’t seem to work in every situation.

A man once caught his wife red-handed cheating on him with the houseboy on their marital bed. He didn’t say a word. He crossed over to the other side of the bed, picked his coat that was hanging on a nail and closed the door behind him. He had returned home unexpectedly at midday when he caught the action live on ‘Supersport.’

The houseboy left the home in a jiffy. Later that evening, the husband returned from work with more shopping than usual. He didn’t show any signs of bitterness, anger or any negative emotion. It was business as usual. Three consecutive days of pretending like nothing happened slipped by the wife couldn’t stand the silence anymore.

She was psychologically tortured to bits. While the husband was watching a football game on television, he heard the loudest of screams from his compound. He dashed out to see what was happening only to find his wife standing next to two huge suitcases, screaming at the top of her voice. The neighbours responded to the alarm with sticks, machetes, hoes, mention it, thinking thugs had attacked them.

The wife voluntarily opened up to the neighbours and narrated the story of how the husband had found her committing adultery but had remained silent.

“This man wants to kill me, his silence is that of a murderer,” she cried. The neighbours didn’t say a word. They stealthily started slipping away, one by one, until it was just the husband and wife left in the compound. We never got to know what happened thereafter, but the point is that the husband’s silence proved that he was very wise to keep silent because he very well knew that silence can be the most dreaded weapon.

Martin Luther King Jr once said that it was easier to forget the words of your enemies than the silence of a friend. At the risk of being branded a politician, I am sure former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi’s detractors are experiencing sleepless nights or having nightmares because of his silence and calmness. I guess he would also like to hear from the politicians he bailed out, but they are equally silent.

Don’t be surprised when they one day make an alarm, demanding to hear from Mbabazi, which would attract the attention of other players in the corridors of power and media. They will unwittingly spill the beans but, like the aforementioned neighbours, other politicians will simply slink away without saying a word, leaving the issue to the press.

I remember in 1997, when after milking the cows, I decided to hide half a litre of milk in a cup behind the house perimeter so that I could boil it later in the day, once they had delivered the rest to the dairy. It was just my aunt and I at home at the time.

I went to feed the cows, but when I returned to pick my milk, the cup wasn’t there! I rushed back home and voila! There it was, washed and visibly placed on the table. I knew I was dead meat because my aunt was a disciplinarian. I cooked up several lies and was prepared to serve them if she ever asked.

Surprisingly, she kept silent and calm, like nothing had happened. I waited for days, weeks, months, years, and to this day she has never mentioned it. The truth is, I am still psychologically tortured.

Source : The Observer

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