By Debbie Olujobi
In a few months, I would be able to lay claim to a decade of writing and I always thought it would be great to put the column to rest by just letting out my thoughts unedited and unfettered! It would be liberating to not be so cautious and edited all the time. Having a public platform means truth in whatever form needs to be tailored to suit all sorts of sensibilities and that can often times take the joy out of the art.
This past week I had a heart to heart with someone who just really needed to vent. Just like most of us he had reached his wits end dealing with an individual who just seemed to live in a parallel universe where good graces and consideration for others don’t count. I like to think I am easy going but truth be told this really was a difficult person. I know this for a fact because I have had the unfortunate experience of spending time with this person and had my manners severely tested.
There are many definitions of madness but my personal one is that anyone who believes their own rubbish and thinks everyone else is wrong is mad. Madness and sanity are very close friends and we all do things that could book us a room in the nut house, what makes us normal is our recognition of our errors in judgement and the steps we take to remedy the situation.
The situation that inspired today’s column is a classic. A seemingly harmless individual who speaks in a rather irritating pitch and manages to control and manipulate her friends and family into doing her bidding. We all want things our way so that’s not mad or unusual. Creating a scene or being spontaneously melodramatic to the point of tears and tantrums anytime there is an audience is nothing short of crazy.
Its especially irritating where one is known for such behaviour and can see that no one is fooled! I listened to my friend vent and was in full agreement that someone needed to just let her have it. Unfortunately so have many people but she never gets it. In her mind, she is a victim of the world’s conspiracy and everything is about her!
The story would have actually been a bit funny if it hadn’t been tinged with tragedy. A tragic and painful loss of a loved one had taken place when the drama began from a most unexpected direction. I have always believed that support and encouragement are the only things needed when you are faced with other people’s pain. Taking or is it grabbing centre stage and creating a scene does nothing to help. Offering suggestions that are impractical and impossible just to seem relevant is inappropriate and having the nerve to be offended when those directly involved ask for peace is crazy.
Long after that conversation I spent quality time going over situations and relationships where I had really just wanted to vent, to speak my mind and say it like it was or is. Could I possibly be the only one on the planet who has felt taken advantage of or cheated because I live by a higher standard than some people? Good manners can often feel like shackles and it prevents one from returning venom when one receives it.
Not too long ago I was having a conversation with someone at a gathering when a man we both knew yelled at me to shut up and cut me off! I wasn’t the only person shocked by the rudeness and others had told him off but I had kept quiet and let it go even though I had been seething quietly. The Debbie I used to be B.C (before knowing Christ) would have exploded with disastrous consequences. Maturity and christianity however has taught me to use my words with caution and I concluded the person in question was not only rude but mad as he had the audacity to be hurt by my silence a few weeks later!
The world seems to be full of people who assume that the universe is created for their convenience. What irritates me most is that they assume those of us who don’t think the way they do are weak. I have many theories but they are just opinions, bottom-line is we are going to come across people who don’t think the way we do. My impromptu break from writing wasn’t planned and it was bitter sweet to be back last week.
It was great to get a lot of feed back but I must apologise to those I couldn’t respond to. I decided to update my Blackberry and the phone died for a few days, I am considering porting back to Nokia. So many thanks for all your responses, I am always very appreciative of kindness and constructive criticism. To those who would like me to morph into what I am not, let me say it like it is; turn the page….