It was meant to be a coded insult
“Have you ever heard of selctive mutism….”
What the consultant was actually trying to ask us (medical students) as we starred back blankly wondering about selctive mutism, was why we stare blanky at him after he ask questions (to which we obviously had no answer), why we chose to be selctively mute when obviously we weren’t actually mute. I dont think I’ve met another man who has such cleverly constructed insults as this Doctor, I must confess.
I had reason to think on that question just yesterday. If you’ve ever had to do inter-state travel in parts of this country (Nigeria) where there are no tush buses then you would understand this scenerio.
So there i was travelling with 17 other people (excluding the driver) in a bus that should be meant for 14. Sorry… did i say 17 other people? Naaa… there was 1
extra person sitting on what we call attachement or engine and yes, she also paid the fare (with a discount). Ermmm, wait a minute, i didn’t count the children…there was a woman with four children who paid for two seats (for herself and her four children) and another woman with one child so let me start again, i was travelling with 23 other people (excluding the driver) in a bus that was meant for 14!😊. As expected, the bus was hot and tight…i got a feel of what it meant to be ‘sardine’, all that was left was for them to pour a little oil over us and we’d have been good to go..tightly packed sardines 😅. Well no one complained (too much) after all it was nothing new or strange to us.
So we took-off straight from the park to a fuel station, bought petrol and as we were about to leave, the car didnt start. Why wasn’t I suprised, the vehicle looked like it should have been laid to rest a longggggg time ago. Now people started getting agitated and i was just similing.. the journey hadn’t even began but i knew it was going to be eventful. Anyway the car started after a little push and off we went on our adventure!😆
Less than an hour into the journey the driver suddenly stopped and said the car was over-heating. He was obviously prepared for this development because he had a gallon of water ready to cool down the heated car. Once the car was cool
and happy , we took off again but soon a strange smell like burning rubber began to emit from somewhere…people were agitated again, talks of similar incidents and burning cars started pouring forth but the driver calmed it all down, saying it was his new break pads that were just “showing themselves” anyway, the car didn’t catch fire.
Long story short, the car over-heated again, the break pads kept emitting the horrid smell at intervals, we had to push it again after one stop and we were held twice at police check points. It was quite an adventure. But by the last police check point, my fellow travellers had had their fill of all the delays and there was alot of venting. Threats to slap the driver, insults, pleas to be calm (from the nicer passengers), and an advice for the driver to go and wash his head, it was agreed on that the driver carried badluck, or what do you think?
So what has all this got to do with selective mutisim? I’d tell you. When everyone was making comments and venting i put in a word or two and then shut-up. I felt i should have said more, been more upset etc. But then i thought, to what end. Would my fury start the car? would my anger cool it down? would my words help matters in anyway? If it wont, wont it be better to be selectively mute? Not because I’m a coward, not because i have nothing to say but because i chose to, i chose to preserve my dignity and identity, i chose to be self-controlled as opposed to being a brawler.
So dear friends. Proverbs 15:1 says…
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
And James 1:19-20 says
19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
Many times it’s alot wiser to sit still and keep mute than to speak out and start a fire. Every believer must learn the art selective mutism, it doesnt make you less, it makes you more, a wise person that knows when to speak and when to keep silent..😉
Thats how an insult and an ‘eventful’ journey became a lesson. Remember, always see the big picture.😉