We may find ourselves in situations that need us to speak up either for or against something. Other times, we may be on the receiving end for standing up for what we believe is right. Some situations or even people have a way of pushing some to a corner and make them squirm. Fear has a way of shushing people. So when we keep quiet in situations that call for us to speak up, history will catch up to us.
The following are depictions of situations that required a voice but the people chose silence instead. Had they not kept quiet, a lot could have changed.
In his silence…
A neighbour stands at his door with his arms folded to his chest. He shakes his head as he listens to a young boy cry for help. The 11-year-old boy had run out to play and forgot to switch off the TV. His mother comes from work earlier than usual. She walks into the house to find the TV on with no one watching it. She angrily switches it off almost knocking it down from the small table it sits on. She then heads straight to bed as she contemplates what the next two weeks will be like without the tips she gets from her job.
She is a waitress at a hotel. The hotel has been closed down for at least two weeks by public health officials. The hotel owner is yet to comply with all the set health and safety standards. She is frustrated.
An hour or so later, the boy shows up at the house finds his mother napping. He doesn’t even realize the TV is off. The mother suddenly jumps out of bed and gives him a beating for what he had done. In the aftermath, the young boy’s right hand is broken. The neighbour chose to be silent and went inside his house. ‘It is not my business, he had said to himself.
In their silence…
In the streets of Nairobi, a woman is mugged by two men in broad daylight. A few onlookers watch as she screams and shouts. The two men run away with her phone and money. A small crowd gathers around the woman. They are more interested to know who the victim is than if she is ok.
When it all happened, the bystanders who were there begin to walk away one by one without a word.
In their silence…
A matatu tout carries passengers beyond the required capacity. He asks a woman with a child in her hands to move so that there is space for him to sit. But the woman refuses. She remains adamant that the tout should not have carried passengers beyond the required maximum number.
Infuriated by the woman, the tout threatens to drop her off in the middle of the road if she doesn’t comply. Scared by this threat, the woman calls out for the driver seeking his intervention. But the driver ignores the woman and keeps driving. Everyone-men and women in the matatu seem to be silently ‘minding’ their business as a bitter exchange ensues between the tout and the woman.
In his silence
A Police is bribed to put a man into custody for a crime he hasn’t committed. The police knows the man is innocent. He asks the man for a bribe so that he lets him go. The accused man refuses to give a bribe. Another police realizes what his colleague has done and asks for his cut to keep his mouth shut. His greed and silence gets an innocent man held in custody.
In their silence…
A wealthy man’s son is taken ill and is rushed to a hospital. He gets there and everything is brought to a standstill because his son’s life is more important than those already waiting in the queue.
The administrators of the hospital know that services are offered on a first come first served basis but they let the rich man have his way.
In her silence…
A junior staff at a company is overworked by her supervisor. The Human Resource (HR) leader receives complaints about the supervisor from several other people. The HR keeps quiet and takes no action because the said supervisor is her friend.
In our silence…
A country silently watches as bad governance brings the nation to its knees. The people silently watch as the development projects promised to them drag for years. Corruption and greed have left many jobless, hopeless and helpless. The people have a voice and through their voice, a lot can happen.
We can break the silence that so often engulfs us. If people didn’t keep quiet; a boy would not have a broken arm, a woman would not have her phone and money stolen, a matatu tout would be more courteous and observe public transport regulation, the police would set higher standards for public service, a wealthy man would know all lives matter, the HR would not mix work and friendship, and a people would vote wisely for better leaders. Do not keep silent. Your voice matters.
Hey, if you have a story, let me know. I will bring it to life.