In class today, things escalated into an exchange of words in a way. We were discussing the budget outline for a class program and the class governor kept hammering on how big a sacrifice it was for members of the committee to have sat down and done all the groundwork and how we should see reason with them and not ‘crucify’ them. We’d discussed this on whatsapp earlier and one of the planning committee members had accused those who objected, of ganging up against the budget. Questions were asked, objections raised and the essence of the program itself was questioned. I remember somebody stood up and asked the very meaning of the program itself. The class governor by way of explanation stated that he believed the ‘asker’ knew the meaning and was only just… another person got up and declared that assumption of knowledge an astronomical fallacy, reiterating the fact that when the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable. The governor quoted a wrong fee as what the set before us paid and people corrected him. Most people had an issue with the amount to be paid per head and insinuated padding (you know how it is presently in Nigeria). After the matter dragged for a while, he asked that we not rationalized the idea of the program so as not to appear dullards. Someone got angry and told him to come sit down and stop insulting us because he has the podium. Tension was rising hence the meeting came to an abrupt end. One important lesson I’ve learnt time and again which was again evidenced here is that as a leader, you need to separate facts from fallacies, issues from personalities. This is because all I saw was an attempt by the committee members to make it look as if the class was attacking their persons.
No. We need to always realize that when we occupy a post, the populace has a right to question our activities especially if the post is a representative one. Nigerians commit the fallacy of the genre argumentum ad hominem most, if not all of the time, agreed. But as a leader and a good one, I expected the governor to understand that if any other person was heading the planning committee as he was , he would likewise come under public scrutiny. The office was being addressed not the person, there was absolutely no need to feel bad or try emotional blackmail as it were. It’s so easy for us to sit back and blame the National House of Assembly members for hurling chairs at themselves and getting violent but this was just a microcosm of mainstream politicking and legislation as it were. We must always maintain an open mind to contrary opinion and learn to disagree to agree.
When I was a member of the ethics department some years back, I made enemies. But I understood later on that they were enemies of the office not my person. People called me the ticket woman even after I’d left the office, people did not like me too well at that time. But it would be very wrong to keep a grudge because they like me as a person, they just don’t like who I have become by virtue of my office(because they are law breakers, lol) .
Over a month ago, I saw a video clip wherein a young hip hop star was being pranked by a media house. He’d called to say he’d be late as he was held back by the police. As soon as the show started, the director began finding fault with the presenter who blamed it all on the star’s lateness. The director also quipped at some point that it was not his fault that children did not know how to behave nowadays. He accused the star of rendering no apologies. The star apologized. The presenter went on to accuse the star of checking his wristwatch(as if they were wasting his time arguing on set) after coming late to which he replied that it was reflex. She went on to ask if it was also reflex for him to keep people waiting, called him a one hit wonder and wondered if he won’t even show up after promising to, when he has like five hits… she re accused him of not apologizing and denied having heard his initial apology….He restated his apology. This dragged on until they decided to put him out of his misery and show him their ‘you’ve been pranked’ placard. Now another star was equally pranked and he turned violent. Thinking about it, I see the pranking as an anger management session. Despite the fact that it was a prank, they responded differently to it as they were probably wont to do in real life
We need the right disposition to issues in life to get by. It is important to note that not everyone is out to fight you or look for your trouble so get off you defensive stance. Life will be a lot easier if we learn to respond and not react to issues. We must learn from the cockroach story someone sent me a few days ago:
“I was reading the speech by the new Google CEO Sundar Pichai and found this part inspirational .
A beautiful speech by Sundar Pichai – an IIT-MIT Alumnus and Global Head Google Chrome:
The cockroach theory for self development.
At a restaurant, a cockroach suddenly flew from somewhere and sat on a lady.
She started screaming out of fear.
With a panic stricken face and trembling voice, she started jumping, with both her hands desperately trying to get rid of the cockroach.
Her reaction was contagious, as everyone in her group also got panicky.
The lady finally managed to push the cockroach away but …it landed on another lady in the group.
Now, it was the turn of the other lady in the group to continue the drama.
The waiter rushed forward to their rescue.
In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter.
The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed the behavior of the cockroach on his shirt.
When he was confident enough, he grabbed it with his fingers and threw it out of the restaurant.
Sipping my coffee and watching the amusement, the antenna of my mind picked up a few thoughts and started wondering, was the cockroach responsible for their histrionic behavior?
If so, then why was the waiter not disturbed?
He handled it near to perfection, without any chaos.
It is not the cockroach, but the inability of those people to handle the disturbance caused by the cockroach, that disturbed the ladies.
I realized that, it is not the shouting of my father or my boss or my wife that disturbs me, but it’s my inability to handle the disturbances caused by their shouting that disturbs me.
It’s not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but my inability to handle the disturbance caused by the traffic jam that disturbs me.
More than the problem, it’s my reaction to the problem that creates chaos in my life.
Lessons learnt from the story:
I understood, I should not react in life.
I should always respond.
The women reacted, whereas the waiter responded.
Reactions are always instinctive whereas responses are always well thought of.
A beautiful way to understand…………LIFE.
Person who is HAPPY is not because Everything is RIGHT in his Life..
He is HAPPY because his Attitude towards Everything in his Life is Right..!!”
We must learn to always stay with the issue, address the issue and not the person. Respond to the issue, and not react. Perspective is everything so, don’t get angry, get the right perspective.