Monthly Archives: June 2017

What Friendship is to me

Striving to be at peace with all men is quite different from trying to please all men. 

The one who properly makes this distinction early enough in associations with people will find dealing with (and maintaining) them a more delightful endeavor than it would normally have been.

As far as I know, being at peace largely involves letting people be. Trying to please people on the other hand is more hands-on; sometimes, it makes you become a slave to them or a slave to yourself. At any rate, the latter is less passive than the former. Hence, it requires more work.

One of my greatest weaknesses down the years has been struggling to maintain more than a few alliances when clearly our values and ideologies clashed in places and principles difficult to reconcile/patch.

And so I have often found myself having to tackle issues people in romantic relationships face without being in one. Quite mystifying I must say. Thankfully, of late, I have learnt to brutally cut my losses;

Trusting myself enough to walk away from that which no longer serves nor grows me.

My friend Ess knows that the above is practically an anthem to me. 😐

I reckon that one of the easy ways to becoming that person that speaks ill of John Doe to Jane Smith is to put up with too much nonsense from John Doe.

You stomach so much that you look for a garbage bin to dump the nonsense (that is John’s attitude/character/annoying behaviour) in.

The irony could be that you have been too passive about letting John know you think his behavior is unacceptable, and so John has come to believe he has been putting forward an attitude beyond reproach, so that when finally one day his nonsense gets to your neck and you speak out, to John, it’d look like you’ve either changed or that you are the one wrong in the fracture that has split you guys apart. You would not have served John any favors with this, neither would you have yourself.

The bottom line is this; communicate quickly what you stand for. I cannot stress this enough.

People get to know what to expect from you. They get to know how to behave properly (well, this is based on the assumption that you are any better yourself), and you also get to know those you can really keep in your close circle to avoid a life of drama. Furthermore, you get to avoid having a red face too frequently as regard John’s “despicableness” and ultimately resorting to making Jane Smith your accomplice in slander.

There really is no point in trying to appear (on the outside) to be someone that can “relate easily” with almost anyone when clearly your spirit is constantly at war with their idiosyncrasies.

No greys. This is the life I want to be known for.

Picking your battles, and your friends (not acquaintances) wisely is one of the most important things you will do as an human being.


Everything leading up to here is all good and nice; being a person that is straightforward, having friends you don’t have to be irritated with every time, being unapologetic about not trying to please everyone and so on.

However, I consider this of much more importance:

having friends that challenge you to do better and be better. Friends that call you out on your bullshit when you are bullshitting. Friends that supply you feedback on things you could do better at.

I mean, what is the point of having a friend that isn’t irritable but isn’t much useful either? What be the point of said friendship if ALL we do is pat each other on the back at all times? We cannot get all things right all times, so I imagine there’ll be times you need to be force-fed hard truths by people who you mean anything to.

If I cannot every now and then point out things to you when I am certain you have erred, then I am unworthy to be called your friend.

On a final note, I know (I do not merely think) that one of the main characteristics of growth is the ability to be able to entertain thoughts gracefully and then to decide what to be sifted or absorbed. I would do well to take my own advice and welcome people that provide me a dose or two of this without reservations.

I would rather keep you at arm’s length than walk on eggshells around you. I hope you do the same with me.

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Lemuel’s mother

When Proverbs 31 is mentioned, a good number of people think of the woman described in there; the perfect woman any man would like to say he desires, whether he be deserving of her or not.

There are a few verses in Proverbs 31 that catch my eyes, but they have nothing to do with the woman, rather, they have to do with a man; a certain King Lemuel talked about in the first few verses.


Proverbs 31: 3 – 7

  1. Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
  2. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
  3. Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
  4. Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
  5. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.

 

I like to think “giving strength unto women” in verse 3 refers to either womanizing or if I must add more color:

“Weakness. Brought about by being foolishly given to loving and attending to more women than necessary.”

It is not completely clear to me why Lemuel’s mother was bent on dissuading her son from having anything to do with just a little wine.

I mean, what should kings enjoy if not the finest of wines of the Land? How dare she say what she said in verse 4?

Although, in the two verses that immediately follow, she mentions two easy negatives that could arise as a result of drinking;

  1. The King/Prince could forget the Law (which would render them ineffective in the discharge of their duties).
  2. It could result in them perverting judgement.

Lemuel’s mother did not stop there, she went ahead to imply that strong drinks are meant for those ready to perish, and wine to those of heavy hearts (depressed?).

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Why on earth did she not talk about the “obvious” benefits of drinking. I mean, there’s the relaxation of the soul it provides, it is used for clearing the head after a long day, it can be useful for killing oneself with enjoyment, for fraternizing with friends, celebrating victory and so on?

I suspect it may have something to do with the fact that she knew deep down that all those things pale in comparison to being able to execute judgement clearly and always being in control.

I suspect she knew for sure that while a little wine is “good for the soul“, it is good because it helps with “frequent illnesses” (refer to 1 Timothy 5:3).

Now, I must stress that I do not imagine nor arrogate to myself the eloquence of speech, nor the capability of swaying anyone from their convictions about anything whatsoever. I only find it of utmost importance to me to share my thoughts and findings as I journey through life, as I walk along with God.

I am a King, and my mother’s voice echoes the sentiments of Lemuel’s mother.

Have you a fruitful week ahead. 🙂

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A morsel from Doss

Hacksaw Ridge gets an automatic promotion into the list of my top ten favorite movies. Can’t say I could mindlessly tell you all the others (apart from The Lord of the Rings trilogy of course), but I really rate it that highly. That’s the point.

My life strongly revolves around values; core values, and for this reason, it was easy for Desmond Doss; the main character of the story, a man who believed and stood for what he believed in to catch my fancy, and earn my respect.

Desmond was a man who enlisted in the army and yet would not touch a gun. His reluctance to touch a gun reeked of self-righteousness to the fellas he would go to war with. I personally got a bit irritated at a point. I mean, no one has asked you to shoot, simply handle the gun, pass the rifle tests, and then continue work as the medic you wish to sign up for. Can’t be that hard. But apparently for him it was. It was important to him that he did not back down. And it was, not because touching the gun would be a sin (in the strictest terms) but he had resolved within himself not to take a life, and a refusal to handle a gun was the first step to ensuring that became a reality.

To say the least, he was ridiculed severally, but he stood his ground and in the end was the most useful man in battle, dragging the wounded to safety without body-armour, without being flanked by his fellow soldiers; men who had since retreated in the face of an impossible situation.

As the movie went on, I was ashamed of my earlier irritation, especially as I could count a number of instances in which I have had to seem foolish (to friends, to onlookers) for standing by the values I believe in. Worthy virtues I have come to hold dear. I have to stress at this point that I do not make to boast of my abilities, neither am I (nor will be) under any illusions that I am the model man, but I think it necessary that every man fight diligently for the beliefs that are the pillars of his life, because without those beliefs, there is no structure, and when there is no structure, man is but a joke.

I have found lessons in my interactions, revised submissions (revised as a result of receiving fresh instruction/advice on why said submissions aren’t the best I could have), and in my daily motions these past few months, and I have to say the resolve to do even better and be better is a backpack I sling over my shoulders daily.

If I do not have useful values,
If I do not mind, guard and live diligently said values,
Why should I think I can make a difference,
How can I be an example?
How can my life be useful to me, and then to another?

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