My father-in-law is a man of few words; but when he does speak, it always adds to the conversation, and people listen. Now I understand why.
“My mother used to say to me, when I was 15 or 16, ‘if you’ve got nothing useful to say, stay quiet’,” Abbu tell me. “That’s why I listen more than I talk.”
“Some people talk for the sake of talking,” Abbu says, “but I talk if I have a reason, if I want to give someone advice. Unless it’s really necessary, I keep quiet.”
Abbu says he became even more quiet after his big brother passed away. “I got really shocked; after Abba, Barai Bhayya was our main advisor on religious things, on literary things. After he died, I talked very little.”
Abbu remembers another wisdom that he learned from his mother – discipline. As a young boy, Abbu loved to play sports and every day after school around 4pm he would run outside to play. His mother would call him back and say, “Hyder, where are you going?” To play soccer, he’d say. “First, pray Asr,” she would say. And he would.
Abbu is the most disciplined person I know. He never misses a prayer, and always says them on time; eats and sleeps on schedule, does his daily stretches, and sticks to his routine no matter what.
His mother’s wisdom has served him well. He is a healthy 85 years old today mA. Happy birthday Abbu!
Day 26 Wisdom 26: If you don’t have anything useful to say, stay quiet.