“When you choose to consider yourself among men of honour, it is imperative that you should treasure the difficulty inherent in remaining silent even when provoked beyond measure. Being sober-minded and understanding the call on your life comes at a price. Those who are not prepared to pay the price opt out and resort to incessant and volatile utterances that more often than not just end up demeaning them…I’m not quiet because there isn’t a lot to talk about or reveal. There is actually a lot. I can choose to talk about so many things in similar fashion to what Zambia has now become accustomed to but that approach has clearly and unquestionably failed before and has done very little to change the circumstances of our people. In this regard, I am silent because in the silence of reflection, inspiration dawns, which is often held in position by the strands of temperance and by its nature holds the promise of real and practical impact. We have all come to learn that those who choose to talk at the slightest of provocation are often admonished and mistaken for glorious chatter-machines; why then should we pursue those who elect self-restraint and measured aggression even when provoked and insulted? What shall it profit this country if our leaders choose to abandon their solemn duties and elect to spend government time dancing on the fortunes of negligence? What shall it profit this country if leaders, in the apparent disregard for the timelessness of time, elect to use their precious time inducing aggression in the minds of those who must be helped to understand the virtues of free expression? Why should difference of professional opinion mean the same thing as the end of brotherhood? This is the kind of politics we all must rise against,” says Harry Kalaba.
There is a quote by Winston Churchill that sums up the importance of what Harry is saying:
“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”
This applies to politics, business and even life in general. We can be distracted by the utterances of all sorts of contradictory elements that cross our path. They say that every seeming opportunity is not an opportunity. Saying nothing is often a better option.
Achieving our dreams requires a focused vision that is not distracted by every barking dog. Some people’s utterances are not worth responding to. They really talk rubbish. There appears to be a competition to be seen as the most attacking and vicious dog against people seen to be Edgar Lungu’s political critics or opponents. Even outright scoundrels will go for you are to be Edgar’s critic. Why? It’s because people are highly rewarded for doing so, for being brutish.
A dog barks when his master is attacked. It is said that it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. George Carlin said, “There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.”
Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.
“Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson.
And Napoleon Hill said, “Wise men, when in doubt whether to speak or to keep quiet, give themselves the benefit of the doubt, and remain silent.”
It is said that quietness is the beginning of virtue, to be silent is to be beautiful and stars do not make a noise. Some of the greatest battles will be fought within the silent chambers of your own soul. The deepest rivers make least din, the silent soul doth most abound in care.