And on to lesson number two that will wrap up this edition. In case you’ve just come across this, the general lesson in all this is simply learning not to live in oblivion. You have heard people say, “Expect the unexpected.”
(Read the first episode here.)
We often put in mind those things we desire and even plan to transpire in our lives. That is what I call expectations. It’s a good thing. For all we know is: No hope, no life! If life was a sure bet then it would not be interesting or even worth living. Think about it.
You’ll realise, for instance, that if bags of billions of whatever currency you regard most were dropped by your doorstep (you wish), your life would change. Of course, from bad to best. But if you think about it deeply, the meaning of life will be lost from that point. That is to say, you will no longer see the need for school, going to work or even looking for a job. You’re highly likely to ditch most of your friends because in your mind, you’ve just gone from being a man into being a Chairman and from being a lady into a Bosslady.
We say that if that happens, we will start a business and run the world and that sorta crap. Your mouth says that but the universe knows you better. In other words, it will short circuit your dreams and everything you have been working for. Just think about it.
Yes you will travel the world, party like the night will never end, buy everything in your wishlist, surprise your lovely mama with a house, buy beaches and bitches for yourself and Heaven knows what else.
“Then what?” You’ll find yourself seated at some point asking yourself. You have all money can buy but no sense of purpose. Money doesn’t bring purpose. Don’t wait for money inorder to find purpose. You lieth to yourself. Find purpose that will draw the money to you and you will be way much wiser when spending it because you system has registered the pain you went through to get it. You will not take it for granted. Even spending it becomes sweeter than spending when you did not earn it.
If you did not work for something, it’s easy to take it for granted.
So that was if life was a sure bet. But since it’s not, then it is only smart to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
Hoping for the best, take it as a independent variable. Let it never change. Never stop hoping, never stop believing Mjango. What you’re working towards is not worthless. Don’t stop to believe in people.
How about preparing for the worst? Let it be just a variable but not worth ignoring. Let it not drain away your hope. It’s just the contingency first aid kit in your conscience.
I tell people that you can never be too prepared for disaster. So never saying never and the next lesson I will introduce is nothing that will make us learn to be too prepared for the worst.
How many advancements in technology have we seen in cars for example – to enhance the safety of passengers but people still die in car crushes? See how much you have withheld yourself from from falling in love again until you almost bought a metallic heart from the black market but one sweet talking guy or one good mannered girl later you were falling on the ground like a possesed cow in the name of love.
That’s to say we may never be too prepared for disaster but it’s psychologically helpful to be aware of it in advance. Ask those who gamble/bet. You expect things to go your way but also endeavor to do some self-therapy by whispering to yourself that it may go another way. At the end of it all, I’m sure the universe does that for the greater good.
So I’m honoured to introduce to you the second lesson from 2019 I decided to carry along into 2020:
2. YOU SHOULD KNOW PEOPLE
Sounds quite reprimanding huh? But it’s the truth. I bet you’ll agree with me but I also count on you not to, (Never say ever eh hehe.)
You expect someone you trust to side with you in a heated situation but he or she doesn’t.
Say it with me like a refrain, you should know people!
Someone you trusted with your secret but there it is all over the air waves with your name on it.
Refrain: You should know people!
You lent some money to your friend which normally should be refunded back but they didn’t. When one day you needed some money, they did lend you nicely but pestered you shortly after to send it back as if they need money to breathe.
Refrain mjango: You should know people!
He texted you saying he has never found someone who completes him like you do. He said the same thing again last night. Only that this time it was not on text and it wasn’t you he was telling. He was cuddling in bed with some girl you do not know, yet!
Refrain: You should know people.
She said after the one night stand that she’d ‘take care’ of it. She did. Because she did, you thought, why then can’t we have a ‘second night stand’? After all, she took care of the first one. Well, congratulations, now she is your baby mama.
Hah! Refrain my friends: You should know people.
I had a conversation with Chebby sometime back. She is into documentaries and investigative programs (just like I am). By then she was watching a series on Netflix about serial killers, kidnappers and cult leaders. She said that apparently, those guys happen to be people you least expect. Very calm, friendly and lovely people. But deep down?
Sema tena: You should know people.
She sings so well in church and is a living example to other girls in the faith. But when the sun sets and the lights go off…?
Refrain please, aki you should know people.
When he clads in a suit and tie, people nearly bow down when he passes. He is like the angel of our times. Radiating good will and splendor to all those that surround him. But you have not come close to knowing that he walks with a pistol under his coat for anytime the police or a rival gang can show up and he will turn into an actor in Lacasa de Papel.
And so, you should just know people.
‘You should know people’ is based on these facts:
People are not always who they say they are, who you see them to be, who they seem to be and even what other people say they are.
This is not to infect you with paranoia that’ll make you naturally disapprove and mark people as bad. In fact, there are good people out here. And in case you don’t know, everyone is good but in their own way. It only depends on which angle you’re looking at them from.
Friends and family of a serial killer, for instance, say that he is a good man. We on the other end here only know him for murder which is of course bad hence marking him as a bad person. So to the family and friends of such, we shouldn’t call them foolish for not knowing their very own is a danger to the society. But all we can say is, they should have just known people.
Not that there is a way of knowing that someone is going to turn against you or do what you didn’t expect.
‘You should know people’ is a phrase I use and am sharing with you to relieve us of a portion of surprise whenever we realise that indeed someone was not who we thought, seemed, heard and saw them to be. When a character in them that we have never beheld plays out when we least expect.
Ingesting and digesting the ‘you should know people’ phrase has made me to have it in mind to almost expect anything from people and expect people to change because what do we know, people do change. It has helped me perceive that people are indeed different and have deeper characters and personalities that I may not necessarily get to know about. But when I do, at least I will just be able to lean back and take it easy saying, “Well, it’s just another day on earth.”
This is also not to say that ‘you should know people’ only targets the worst in people.
How many times have we dismissed someone based on the negative we heard about them only to find out later that they are nothing close to what we had been made to believe? How many times have we even simply had an impression about someone from just looking at them and we went home singing under our breaths that they are bad?
I laugh all the time when people I meet tell me I am stern and ever serious. That I can rebuke someone even before opening my mouth. That I am unapproachable and quiet and so forth and so on. Well today I say unto thee, you should know people.
Try not to assume anything about someone. If you can, go ahead and ask. Make that approach when you think he looks too serious and like he takes no nonsense for breakfast.
She looks like the ‘anakaa tu kuringa‘ type? Just because she has blonde braids that gently spank her butt when she walks? Just because she has gel nail polish and sits alone while on her phone? Why don’t you eliminate the ‘anakaa tu‘ assumption by nicely and I say nicely talking to her – like a gentleman Mjango wants you to be. There is only one way to find out the truth. If she looks at you from head to toe, does a chineke sign on your face and says something like, “Pick on someone your own league,” then take heart like the soldier you are and match on with now not an assumption but confirmed truth. But if she responds nicely because you were nice as well, then go tell the other cowardly boys that they should know people. Or even don’t tell them. You’ll be the smartest wolf in the pack.
You will know who people really are when you expose them to two things: Pressure and the truth. Those are the most common tests you can make use of to really know people. The others are things like money and power. No wonder I had started by talking about money remember? I laugh when someone says they will not be corrupt when they get a position in our government. Well, we pray you get it so that we know who you really are Mjango.
Expose someone to some pressure, like getting them to wait or deprive them of something they seem to regard dearly and maybe, just maybe you will come face to face with the devil in them. That is when you will see how people manage anger for instance. But this doesn’t mean you do that on purpose, torture people and find fun in it. Don’t be intentionally late for a serious meeting with me just because you want to test my patience. Don’t be foolish mjango!
We withhold the truth from people when we are still learning how to trust them. That’s wise. But since your relationship is growing and naturally demands for more trust, you can decide to throw in a small chunk of truth first and see how they will respond to it.
Young man, instead of borrowing money from a friend again, tell your supposed super woman that unfortunately, you don’t have fare to meet her today but you will work on it and make it up to her soon enough. Express that you have chosen to tell her the truth and let’s see how that ship sails. You and I both know if she is melted by your honesty and it doesn’t negatively change anything in her towards you , then she is likely to be worth the hustle.
I learn to accompany ‘you should know people’ with ‘I should know myself too’ that helps me to endeavor to be more understanding and less judgemental on people. Trust me, you will realise maybe harshly, that you’re no better than other people in this short life.
What more do I need to say mjango?