There is need to come clean, from the get-go, by revealing that this entry was inspired extraneously. Credit goes to my friend and confidant, the Rev. Osondu Ahirika, whose particular Facebook post last Saturday got me thinking. Unfortunately, the reverend gentleman only left the footnote, “copied” where author’s name should have been. Such literary beauties should never be flaunted anonymously.

This is it, though. “You cannot control what others do, but you can control how you respond, how you handle it, how you perceive it and how much of it you want to take personally. I am slowly learning that most of the time, these situations say nothing about you but so much about the other person. I am slowly learning that maybe all these disappointments are just there to teach us how to love ourselves because that will be the armour and the shield we need against the people who try to bring us down.

“They will save us when people try to shake our confidence or when they try to make us feel like we are worthless. I am also learning that even if I react, it will not change anything, it will not make people suddenly love and respect me, it will not magically change their minds. Sometimes, it is better to just let things be: let people go, do not fight for closure, do not ask for explanations, do not chase answers and do not expect people to understand where you are coming from. I am slowly learning that life is better lived when you do not centre it on what is happening around you.

“Instead, centre it on what is happening inside you. Work on yourself. Work on your inner peace. You will come to realise that not reacting to every little thing that bothers you is the first ingredient to living a happy and healthy life”.

I jumped in immediately on the thread with my long-held thoughts. Here you are: “Absolutely, silence is the best answer to a fool, they say. Meaning, silence is the worst answer to the wise. The trickiest thing in life is to know the difference in every situation, and react accordingly”!

Try as much as I have, I have not been able to bring myself to stop ruminating on it all. Which is the reason I thought to share its expatiation with you, my dear audience. Silence has to be studied, understood and applied accordingly, to achieve intention. Technically speaking, silence is power but it can also be weakness.

Everyone agrees that silence is the best answer to a fool, which presupposes that no wise person should engage with an idiot. But, what if your troubler feigning ignorance or idiocy is a wise ‘un only out  to take advantage of your silence, should you still see silence as the best answer? That is, should we always choose silence? Can silence fail?

This is one conversation everyone must have with self. When I had mine, I and I agreed conclusively to give the silent treatment to the fool but never to the wise. In the age of the internet, which has the dual capacity of forgetting nothing as well as of throwing stuff up when least expected, the smart thing is to be on the right side of history per time. Ensure nobody outsmarts you now or in future in the name of you choosing to be mature.

Related News

Be silent when you should. Speak up when you need to. In the latter situation, show up along with class and grace. Eschew anger, keep it clean, short, simple and truthful. And, make sure, that once is your last word on the matter.

Strive to lead a quiet life. People tend to forgive or ignore nonsense committed by or bandied about a peaceable person. Conversely, society seems to enjoy spreading or believing falsehood targeted at a roisterous neighbour or individual. If you are not known for acting or talking carelessly: the day that you eventually do, you enjoy unanimous understanding and belief.

Furthermore, there are some things about situational or circumstantial silence that we must look at. For instance, when you become a fool within your circles. Sweethearts you made your God or idols can occasionally switch off on you. Your parent, your sibling, your spouse, your teacher and your utility lone ranger can wake up on the wrong side, one fine day, and ignore you for days.

Sometimes, this can go on for weeks, for months, even for years. Anyone can humiliate you by ignoring you, anytime, anywhere, and later worsen your shame by ridiculing you publicly. The wicked can deploy silence as a trick against the poor. Whatever happens, there is a reaction other than to cry or whine on end because silence is also a great counter-window.

You only need to look deeper and wider to see and reap the untold dividends inherent in being ignored by a human god. First, give them space. Second, look elsewhere. Third, reach out in other directions.

You shall instantly see a totally new world of better opportunities and greater possibilities. If it was a boss or about a job, someone or something better shall soon pop up. If political, an incomparable platform shall soon fall into your lap. If professional, a higher pedestal shall soon beckon.

Learn to appreciate silence from people you respect and cherish as a reminder that you are more and can become greater, with or without them. You were not born with them. You will not die with them. They shall not render your account for you.

On the other hand, silence might not always be rejection but what if it is? So, what? God has not rejected you, neither can nor shall He, ever. You should take solace in that eternal assurance.

In addition, realise that silence is not wholly bad. Silence can alternatively be a deliberate natural or human delay meant to test or try you, or to allow time. Silence can be a tool of healing and repentance. Silence can be a strategy by the weak against shame and the powerful.

Silence is what you make it. Understand that and have forever peace in your heart. Use it when it suits. Do not use it when it is not the perfect answer.

God bless Nigeria!

VERIFIED: Nigerians (home & diaspora) can now be paid in US Dollars. Earn up to $17,000 (₦27 million) with premium domains. Click here to start