Essays, poems and Stories of an African-American

Monday, 29 July 2013

The axe entered the forest, the trees said as one: "look the handle is one of us." YORUBA SAYING

This week two incidents reminded me so much of life, the friends we make, the friends we keep, the steps we take, the mistakes we did, the look into the past and the regrets, fondness in that cup. However much we dwell on our past, it is imperative we use far more energy to project ourselves into the future. This is the essence of purpose. To live fruitfully.

A friend shared with me this; 'if you grow wiser than the the smaller group or circle of friends it is better to cast wider and increase on the friends' network. More than one friend is like a singing quartet where there is a tenor, soprano, alto and bass.' I thought about this for a long time.

Imagine a social network where people ask to be your friends and they make up the bulk of connections. One can get in touch with them or they too can get in touch or be in touch using various applications on this social network. These are virtual relationships. They are part of one's sense of direction, bonding, duty, loyalty and status. No doubt in such an arrangement there are those who are popular and those who are not. These e-relationships (i-relations) can get abusive, but still people hang in there for fear of losing these 'friends.' It is not easy to lose a friend. But, if one is abusive and uses very scandalizing language it is better to leave or opt out. There are very many reasons why humans get social or get into relations. The aspect of 'being one of us' that connects you to a particular social network can manifest in many ways: the things you aspire to or the fact that you are able to make more friends from all over the world. It is like the trees inviting the axe in their midst because of the wooden handle. When it gets abusive it is similar to the time when the axe is used to cut those very trees. Waiting long to go out of an abusive relationship is a similar case of when the axe is used to cut the trees! Waiting too long hurts. Be wise, get out. 

These can be some situations: If the other person uses abusive; scandalous or disparaging words that are not called for; use of expletives in a way that belittles you; use of any slurs with the intention of painting you as bad; stalks you by barraging you with texts or unsolicited messages even after being warned not to and;using intimidating language towards you.

There are cues in life that enable us to gauge the trend of our relationships. Use these as early warning signals. Use them to warn you and to help you contribute to building the relationship or learning what your other people want and are comfortable with.

Meanwhile build a base for yourself so that when you do need time to yourself you know how to use it well in constructive and productive ways. This is a good skill; to use time and resources around effectively to improve on yourself and others. Be comfortable with yourself and only then will you be comfortable with others. We can only be ready for the future when we set ourselves ready. The future is based on our readiness. The Irish have a saying: 'the future is not set, there is no fate but what we make for ourselves.' FABER EST SUAE QUISQUE FORTUNAE.

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