How Not to Live

Making permanent mistakes during temporary situation is one of the ways not to live. Saying things we ought not to say when we’re hurting is not the way to live. Behaving the way we ought not to behave when we’re angry is sure not the way to live. I perfectly understand that the human nature does not readily accept inconveniencing pain. But pain is part of life experience. So it’s unavoidable. Maturity is only evidenced in a life though buffeted by pain but maintains angelic demeanor. Regret is the effect of a mistake one could’ve avoided in the past. And regret is not a great place to be.
The past few months were some of the most challenging months for me. But looking back today I’m glad I didn’t bail. It’s a mystery to me how I was unusually calm and enduringly strong throughout the blackened tunnel. How I didn’t say regrettable things to people that publicly humiliated me. To people who treated me unfairly. Instead, I did the exact opposite of what they did to me. The situations are behind me now, thankfully, but my reactions outlive them. Life is not some two points that can be connected by a straight line. It’s still a puzzle why that is not. The journey of life is full of turns and bends and curves and puddles. And boulevards, too! Life tests our mastery of it regularly. And if we don’t learn to master life we are headed for a terrible crash somewhere along the way.
Humility and selflessness are the secrets of a balanced life. The summer of life is always great. Its winter? Forget it. To love the unlovables would take selflessness. To forbear wrong would require humility. For a natural man, those are not cinch. Pride and selfishness are so inherent in man. But one can always overcome them. Because some have.
In the book One Nation, Ben Carson relived an event of instructional value. When he newly joined Johns Hopkins Teaching Hospital a nurse, seeing him in white apparel, mistook Ben for an orderly and said, “Mr. so and so is not ready to be taken to the OR yet.” And Ben with a smile on his face said, “I understand, ma. But I’m Dr. Carson and this man is my patient.” Hearing that, the nurse was flushed with embarrassment. Sometimes people will mischaracterise us, whether deliberately or out of ignorance, it shouldn’t provoke an outburst from us. That the nurse ignorantly misplaced Dr. Ben Carson for an orderly didn’t make his appointment with the hospital as a neurosurgeon irrelevant nor did it strip him of his Yale University and Michigan Medical School degrees. It does not matter to what one is mischaracterise. It is only important to know the meaning of mischaracterisation. Mischaracterisation is simply the misrepresentation of one thing with another. Since it bears untruth. It doesn’t worth the fight, the anger and the bitterness.
I remember a lady that recently called me “eran” (goat) during a phone conversation. I was going to send a bombastic text message to her, but then I realised I’ll be making a prophetess of her. Our reactions should not be subject to the opinion of others about us but what we know ourselves to truly be. We should permit the good done to us by the same people hurting us to overwhelm their wrongs. Instead of scribing their good in sand, let us etch it in gold. That way it can be permanent.


Author: Jenisi

Abatan Adewale Joseph, or Jenisi, is an electrical engineer who has passion for writing. He prides himself as a learner and a student of Life. You can reach him on +2348082674797

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