Good morning dear ones,
This morning, I’m hard pressed to write to those of us who are now Facebook warriors and preachers and motivational speakers and bloggers and all whatnots. Those who have appointed themselves Advice dispensers.
You see, I have learnt that there are times when the words you write and what you share have the power to help someone along their journey. To bring them what I call “gentle reminders”. To help the focus. Or to diffuse some wrong and limiting beliefs. To help them see better.
But, I have also humbly learnt that sometimes our opinions might come off as judgemental and destroy a lot more than we will ever know.
It’s easy to sit behind a computer or phone screen and scribble away; dishing out advice. Sharing what you think will fix the problems of another. Condemning what you consider as wrong. Jumping to conclusions without knowing a third of the facts.
And sometimes, in so doing, we loose our humanity and worst of all, we sometimes cause others to loose their faith in humanity.
People talk about other people’s marital troubles as if they are the ones holding the switch to all the lights in the head of the people involved.
People share handbook recipes for making your relationship work without knowing what the rudiments of that particular relationship are.
If we hear of domestic violence, we jump in with our warped idea of what went down.
When we see someone not succeeding in business or any venture, we tell them what they “must have” done wrong. Then we go ahead and tell them what they “must” do to get to our definition of “success”.
We give marriage advice, relationship advice, business advice, political advice, governance advice. People dish out motherhood advice, fatherhood advice, sisterhood advice, brotherhood advice, health advice, weight advice, hair advice, skin advice. We hear people telling us how to eat and how to sleep… Some people will even tell you how to breathe, how to pee and how to poo…
Even more exasperating is the fact that when some of us see someone put his or her foot in their mouth, oh, we express not only our disgust, but also we go further to trash the character of the unfortunate individual as well as that of his or her entire family and/or generation.
Whatever we see or read about, we must express our opinions and hurl insults, accusations and counter accusations at each other…
Is your self righteous indignation really relevant?
Can we all please, stop already??
You do not know the half of it!
When you write to tell people what they are doing wrong or what they must do, please remember that you do not even remotely know the person on the other side of the screen nor the details of his or her situation.
Please remember to be kind in your words.
Remind yourself that your conclusions and assumptions could be wrong or at the least flawed.
Your generalisations might not only be wrong, but it could also hurt people more than you will ever know.
In addition, you must remind yourself every single time you sit behind that screen that you do not have all the information. And that the ones you do have might be incomplete or false.
Remember to season your words with kindness.
Please, pause and bite your tongue or your fingers, as the case maybe, before you throw venom in someone else’s face.
Ask yourself why you are addressing that particular issue? Why must you get involved? How is your opinion relevant? And how can that opinion positively bring about positive change. (Why do you even think change, as you define it, is needed?)
The world certainly needs your voice, but remember that what will ring out is not the pitch that voice, nor your assumptions about what is right and wrong, but rather the kindness you show and the words you use.
I really want to believe that you are mostly trying to help, but please remember that what works for A, might not work for B. Remember that what worked for A yesterday, might not work for the same A today, not to mention it working for B.
Even the God that most of us profess, must be looking down at us sometimes in exasperation as we all tend to emotionally and psychologically flog and blackmail people into doing what we have all concluded that He wants. As flawed and imperfect as we all are, we have appointed ourselves soldiers and scripture-enforcing agents, bullshitting people about what we interpret to be the “will of God”.
You think you know?
Go back and observe God better. Obverse and pay close attention to His loving kindness and His tender mercies. Learn compassion from the God you claim to love and fight for.
Don’t be so quick to draw your sword and consequently draw blood. Teach your heart to love. And to forgive. And to give people room to be all of their imperfect selves. Learn to love people with their imperfection. Learn to keep and apply your expectations of good behaviour to yourself.
Make your own rules and enforce it on yourself as you deem fit. And give people the courtesy of allowing them to do likewise…
If you’re “sure” that they have failed, take it easy as you call them out. Do it from a place of love.
And remember to be gentle and patient and tolerant in your dealings with other people.
I love you always,