BE BETTER

Lets kick off this piece with one of my favorite wisdom from the scriptures.

Answer a fool not according to his folly, lest you be like him; answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

I’d like to say two important things about handling offenses.

First, not every word spoken to you deserves a response. Not every action taken against you deserves a reaction. Sometimes, silence is the best answer. The bible tells us that when a fool keeps quiet on a matter, then he is considered wise. Wise men know when speech is silver and silence gold. As a rule of thumb for me, if your speech or response to a matter won’t improve your value or the other person’s value, its best you keep your opinion to yourself.Meek-Mill-Drake

Taking into perspective the book of proverbs, 26th chapter which was earlier quoted; one thing is clear, the only time a response is required for a fool is when the response will help set the fool straight. If you are replying just to defend yourself or to hurt the enemy, you’d be either wasting energy or worst still doing yourself harm as well. Of course there would be cases in which a response should be given especially when the claims in question could affect your reputation, but even then; the availability of an appropriate answer, that won’t reduce you to level of your offender, should be considered before you respond.

Picture this, imagine me, a guy dressed up in a white shirt as i am as at the writing of this piece, and then imagine another person walks up to me and starts screaming at the top of his voice at me saying “hey, woman!, woman in pink!!”. Then imagine he persists at this to a point that he commands the attention of people around.

It would be a waste of my energy to get into a war of words with him. If i do, i would have only certified myself a candidate of yaba-left just like him. I am obviously a man and i’m wearing a white shirt. Such shenanigan behaviour doesn’t require a reply.

Whatever i say shouldn’t be said with an intention to hurt him. An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. If he is saying what he is saying to hurt me and i decide to reply just to hurt him, proverbs 24 says we are both fools and I’m no better than he is. Before God and man, we are both guilty of the same thing.

So summary of point one is this, in essence, what should decide whether you answer a fool is your intention for answering. Am i answering to clear my reputation? or am i answering just to get on level terms? Do i even have to answer? To whom is my answer due? Will my answer add value to me or him or will it just keep as both in the gutter? All these questions i believe are the silent questions embeded in between those two seemingly conflicting statements of that verse of scripture in proverbs 26.

Secondly, it is best to resolve a conflict than to dissolve a relationship. Of course the terms of the relationship could change, you don’t have to be jolly good friends with everyone especially when they have proven beyond reasonable doubt that they are foolish; but Jesus did make it clear that as much as it depends on us, we should be at peace with ALL men.

There is no wisdom really in making enemies or increasing the number of people that hate you. Hatred has no good to offer anybody. And so even if you believe a man isn’t qualified to be your friend, you don’t have to make him an enemy.

What does this imply? Same thing brother! Just give a wise response to the query of a fool. Dont give a response that will stir up more resentment and strife. A soft answer, the bible admonishes, turns away wrath. This is key! There is no point adding fuel to a fire a person set just to prove a point. Two wrongs can never add up to a right.adr

So folks, dont be quick to give a response at any time. Be sure, infact, be very sure that your answer either in words or deed will add value to you or in the least keep you where you were before you gave it. But the way words are, they never leave us the same way. They are that powerful. Once a word is spoken, it can’t be taken back; and the damage or beauty it creates is seldom easily reversed.

Have a great life people; be better!

*yaba-left is a popular psychiatry centre in lagos

 

Afolabi Soaga

IWrite, ISpeak, IInspire!!!

 

 

 

 

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friends, lovers, and the friendzone.

It’s another season of love. Saturday Fe-buhari 14, couples all over the world celebrated Valentine’s Day.

Love is a serious thing and romance is deep. Although some say it’s overrated……but I guess it’s probably because they haven’t experienced it yet. Love is so serious that it was been the motivating factor behind several success stories or fairy tales and at the same time it has also been behind some tragedies. Love has been the reason why people have died for others and has also been the reason why some have killed people as well (at least that’s what they claim in their defence).

Love makes us vulnerable. It makes us soft. Even the strongest of men like Solomon can be defeated by the weakest of things when they are in ‘love’. But love is a good thing. Because despite the vulnerability involved, inside weakness sometimes lies the greatest strength. A man in love and alone is weak, but when he finds a right partner, together they are stronger.images (4)

Love as the world knows it however is not enough reason to start a relationship (see proverbs7). The fact that you are single and sooooo attracted to another single person doesn’t mean you both have to mingle. A friend of mine usually says that although love could be a commandment, relationship is a choice. And if you are going to make that choice, make sure it’s the right one.

So before one gives himself into a romantic commitment, it is always wise that one gets a full or at least a good idea of what he is going into and build the relationship on strong foundations so it would last and stand the storms that always rock the ship called relationship.

Many people have gone into relationships very ignorant of things and those relationships have ended up in heartbreaks, abuses, breakups and worse still divorces. Leaving the contributing parties heart broken and incomplete……which they carry over into their next relationship and thus creating a self-sustained cycle of Hook ups and breakups for both parties. Such is the reality we see in Hollywood.

That I can say has been one of the reasons why it is advised that we build friendships before starting relationships. By starting from the foundation of a friendship, you get to see the person you are interested in for who he/she is and your choice of either moving on to a more serious relationship would be better informed and the risk of things turning bad reduced.

But then, initiating the friendship phase does have its own challenge and threat. One is the likelihood of being locked in the friend zone. I speak from experience! download (1)

When you stay too long in the zone, you become a friend that is now like a brother. And any attempt to woo the girl could be graced with disappointment from her and further tear you two apart and ruin even the pleasant friendship which you have successfully built which also although was at the beginning only a side quest.

The Friendzone could also prevent you from making a move when due. This is because at times the friendship becomes so sweet you don’t want to risk losing it by asking her out.

There is also the issue of ‘assuming the role’. The zone comes with some benefits- Tight hugs, daylong texting, week long hangouts, frequent phone calls, and many more privileges that come with being a couple (I’m talking about a church endorsed kind of couple-hood of course. From what we’ve been told, you don’t go beyond this point). And so you could get so comfortable in the friendzone that you just begin to assume the role. Somewhere in your heart because of all those privileges, you begin to think and feel like you are the man when you are not. Voicing out further interest becomes unnecessary or at least that’s how you feel.

But the tragedy is that when someone else comes with a stronger and more direct approach and steals the love of your life away, there is usually little you can do about it.

images (3)So how do we avoid being condemned to the friendzone.

My approach is this…..while we are building the friendship, as early as possible, I start suggesting to the person that I could be wanting more. I look out for their response to what I say. Does she welcome it, or does she despise the idea? I use jokes to suggest that I want more and sometimes I just bring up discussions that will put me in positions to tell them about my strategy of ‘building friendships into relationships’ and then indirectly suggest it to them using tactics such as using them as direct examples. I highlight their qualities that make them not just good friends but potential girlfriends/spouses. From there on you can start building the Mo. till it climaxes into a serious proposal.

Has it worked so far? Well I just started this technique and you’d have to give me a little more time to know. If it doesn’t, I’d definitely let you know.

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PS: This article was originally written in September 2014….strategy execution has been poor from my side….so I’ll just say that I am still building my Mo. lol