During a conversation, when asked for a comment, silence could have two possible interpretations. Either you agree and have nothing more to add or you disagree and too polite to contradict.
I have to deal with local people, many of whom lacked the global views I tried to discover. Theirs were often more concerned with domestic issues than think about what other events in other parts of the world could mean to them. Only when an international problem hits home is when they sit back and ponder the consequences that could affect them.
Our overseas workers are scattered all over the world, hundreds of thousands in the conflict-riddled Middle East. Some of the local residents have relatives working there. They are not nervous of what is happening in Iraq, Syria, Israel, Lebanon and other countries embroiled in violence as long as their loved ones live and work in the neighboring countries.
When I give them hints of probable scenarios, they remained silent, often listening with ears closed.
Someone asked me the other day: Why does the price of oil keep rising? He answered his own question by blaming the local oil cartel for the continuing hikes.
I remained silent. I would have loved to explain to him in detail what I know but then it occurred to me that he could simply shrug off my long explanation without real interest as to the root of the problem.
I don’t want to be the messenger of bad news. However, sometimes I am compelled to say my piece, knowing fully well the cool reception I would get. It is only when what I had said came to fruition that they would actively listen for my analyses of what happened.