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Random Thoughts – Silence Is Almost Always Golden, By Austen Chilokwu

IN my ‘RANDOM THOUGHTS’ of 25th Jan, 2023 I stated inter-alia that “Words have magical power. They bring either the greatest happiness or deepest despair” – apologies to Sigmund Freud – no doubt, sage’s words as if they are from the pantheon of African gods. In yesterday’s ‘DEVOTION’ it was stated that “We must be discerning in the words we choose to share, knowing that whether we sow harm and deceit, or goodness and truth, it will spread beyond our reach.

Our influences, good and bad, have far-reaching effects.”
It is a universal truth that wars, battles, fights, etc are engineered by spoken and/or written words and it is better to maintain silence than cause strife. Perhaps that explains why our ancestors postulated that ‘okwu ada adi na afo esi isi’ which literally translates to ‘word in the stomach does not smell.’ In effect, words not uttered remain unspoken connoting that someone cannot be held responsible or accountable for things not said as they remain buried in him or her.
It is categorised as OMERTA, the Italian mafia code of silence that places importance on silence. Book of Proverbs also advised that “He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” Ecclesiastes 3:7 added that there is “A time to rend, and a time to sew: a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.”
Also, in James 1:19 we are informed “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let everyone be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” – please note that these  Bible quotations are from today’s “DEVOTION”. It stands to reason therefore that it is expedient to maintain silence and sail with the tide rather than almost always bicker and confront one another and thus torpedo the boat.
In the same ‘RANDOM THOUGHTS’ of 25th Jan, 2023 I emphasised that “Words  can enliven you, invigorate you, encourage you, embolden you, lionise you and as Chinua Achebe said ‘a boy sent by his father to steal does not go stealthily but breaks the door with his feet.’ In other words, words can inspire, energise, goad, and uplift us for positive actions, or enervate, encumber, disparage, or even disincentivise someone from noble ideals.”
The foregoing notwithstanding, OMERTA, the encompassing code of silence should in occasional moments be embraced, cuddled, and nursed for unadulterated peace that has eluded the inhabitants of this mundane world and thereby find expression in peaceful coexistence. Silence, however, is not in all ramifications but almost always golden.

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