Talking Of the Scents!
A friend of Aristotle went to him and told him that he has something to tell about one of his friends. Aristotle stopped him and asked him to answer some of his questions after which he would listen to him. The friend agreed. Aristotle’s first question was that, “Are you absolutely sure that the piece of information that you are going to tell me about my friend is true?” To this, his friend could not come up with an immediate reply and seemed a bit hesitant. He admitted that he had got this information from another friend and he was not absolutely sure as if it was true or not. Second question that Aristotle put was like that, “The information that you are going to tell me is of any benefit to me?” The friend took some moments to think and he accepted that it was just a gossip and was not going to be of any good to the mind or business of Aristotle.
Then Aristotle put his third question and said, “This piece of information that you are going to share with me will benefit you or my friend who is under discussion?” Friend faintly smiled and again admitted that it was not of any use either to him or the man under discussion. Then Aristotle put his last question which was, “Will you be able to tell this piece of information in front of my friend?” His friend said, “No, because it might annoy him and may come and grab my collar for this”. Then Aristotle came up with these golden words, “My dear friend, a piece of information that is not going to benefit either me or you and about which you are not sure if it is true or false and it is going to bring a drift between two friends, then why should you exhaust yourself by telling and me by listening to it.”
It is true that we might not be able to investigate a person or friend such thoroughly on every occasion but if we be a bit careful we may come to avoid all those incidents in which friends become sad and angry of each other that occur due to the useless talking and heedless gossips.
It is the reason why our religion has termed silence as a form of worship. A possible for this is the fact that when you remain silent, you avoid all the stupid and useless discussions that might be harmful to one’s thoughts and reputation.
The wisdom that lies in silence or contemplation are so wide and numerous that almost every successful person in the world regards silence as one of his or her main traits and noble qualities.
Silence enables a person to contemplate and ponder upon different secrets of the world. When scientists adopted this habit, they discovered a number of secrets about the universe and natural sciences which they could have never done in case they had not taken refuge in the peaceful arms of contemplation and solitude.
Best places of the world where one gets the inner pleasure and refreshes his mind and soul are those where there is silence. Big ice-packed mountains, green plants, silently flowing clear water and stealthily rustling of the leaves and branches of trees, all combine together to make an impression that one never forgets. It was the reason why William Wordsworth, who was able to depict the hidden beauties of nature in his poetry, always went to observe the beauties of nature where there should be beauty being more vivid in the company of silence. That is why it is said that nature tells its secrets only to those who maintain an environment of absolute silence to listen to its inaudible call.
Worship relaxes one’s mind and soul. The reason that silence has been given the high status of being a worship is also due to the same reason that silence makes you relax your mind and soul and it is the reason that music experts have found the classical or slow music to be soothing the mind compared to the fast music which has been found to be exciting the listener enhancing the outburst of adrenaline.
All the good decisions and thoughts are also the result of contemplation in silence and solitude. These thoughts have benefitted people a lot and thus again it comes in the benefit of others just like the worship. Contrary to this, most of the quarrels and fights start in the heated discussion or disagreement where the factor responsible for such frenzy is noise and frustration.
The biggest victim of excessive and heedless talking becomes the mind of the speaker himself that remains in the same immature level. When a child is small and young, his body and mind are small. With the passage of time, his body grows and becomes big and strong. In the same way, his mind also grows and his ideas and thoughts get mature. But the person who is in habit of continuous talking grows physically but his mind and thoughts remain the same even after 20 to 30 years.
In order to understand this lets have the example of walkie-talkie, a device used to communicate between the personnel of armed forces, police or other security agencies. Unlike a cell phone, it cannot receive and transmit the signals at the same time, rather it can only receive or transmit a signal at a time. You might have seen that a person on one end of this talks while the next person listens and when the first stops talking, the later starts talking. A person who is in habit of talking excessively is like the device that can only transmit the signals but which never receives signals. The signals that can be in form of thoughtful discussions, mature ideas, good quotations, interesting stories and many useful information that can broaden one’s thoughts and soften the hearts never reaches to the receiver of this person and as a result, the growth of mind remains seized.
A road where there is a lot of traffic, the possibility of accidents is always great comparing to a road where traffic is very less and a vehicle passes after every half hour or 40 minutes. Similarly, a person who is in habit of talking excessively becomes vulnerable to different kinds of mistakes. He might give exaggerated figures about his achievements, his heedless comment might hurt the feelings of a friend, his unnecessary remark might spark a bitter disagreement and many more grave mistakes might be born of his unnecessary and excessive talking. Such a person might lose the credibility of his words, turn his enemies into foes, bring disunity among the community and many more evils might come into existence. And above all, all these losses are the result of an unnecessary endeavor which has no such evident gain or benefit even to him or the people around him.
A scholar viewed this unnecessary talking to the process of throwing garbage into the minds and hearts of people. As we see that sweepers of city collect garbage from the streets and homes and then a truck comes in which all these unwanted and stinking things are thrown, similar to this, a person who talks about useless things in the company of people, throws garbage of words and ideas into the minds of people and this garbage is not less hazardous than the garage collected from the city.
But, it is equally unfair when you have good things to talk but you remain silent and let the company be hijacked by the stupid gossips and discussions. This silence is also a crime just like the excessive but useless talking. Good ideas and noble thoughts are blessings that need to be shared with others generously.
Mahmood Hassan Quraishi is a permanent writer of the Daily Afghanistan Express.