By Debbie Olujobi
Human relations is at best delicate and at worst tricky. Being social creatures we thrive based on relationships, mixing views and values, rubbing minds and attributes. In my view most relationships have a life span, at least those that don’t involve blood and covenants do.
My children took me to task on relationships and it was all about human relations. One of them is leaving one school for another and he is bitter sweet about the experience. I can relate and I truthfully told him there are some of his mates that he will probably never see again but that there will never be a vacuum as people come and go during the course of one’s life.
By his own admission some of the friendships had grown stale and even mean so I just told him to let them go. Not every friend is friendly. The world is used to the phrase “unfriendly friends” because of people like Judas Iscariot, friends who devour and destroy, out for their own gain and agenda. Some friends on the other hand are worth their weight in gold; their hearts are pure and they love unselfishly; without agenda.
Being of the Christian persuasion; I do subscribe to the belief that there is a divine order to the chaos of everyday life. That we meet people for a reason and that sometimes they are only in our lives for a season. There are many angles to human interactions; many angles and many fractions. A few years ago, a reader sent me a beautiful piece of writing.
It captures the essence of my view of the world and it has been serving as a litmus test for all my relationships and interactions. It’s what I am trying to explain to my family; the young and the old. Every intention has a purpose, so does every relationship and we all need to evaluate the purposes and intentions from time to time. A few years ago, I walked away from a friendship after such a test and my explanation may not have made sense to most people but I felt very justified. T
hat particular association or friendship, did not add to me in any way, it subtracted from me and it divided me into fragments. It served no beneficial purpose and its intent could only have been destruction. I identified my Judas, but cut him off before he could get his 30 pieces of silver.
Every end signals a new beginning and while the ending may be sad, it is a legitimate right of passage in human relations. I genuinely admire those people who have been able to go through all of life’s seasons with enduring friendships. I recall my best friend in primary school as a beautiful girl called Violet but halfway into secondary school we weren’t even talking.
There have been many friends since then and looking back I daresay the sincerest and probably best friend I had growing up would be “Yezde”, my partner without guile or agenda back in the university. Even when I look back and administer the litmus test; it passes with flying colours. That friendship, added and multiplied me; thats how I see people who make us better, who call us higher and love us through good and bad times. I am blessed enough to have another such person who is a fraction that multiplies and adds; a true God connection, father to all my munchkins and blessing of a lifetime.
So here I am encouraging the executive son (a pet name for my son) that there are more friends in his future and what hurts now will be a distant memory in just a little while. Most of the friendships he describes now are at best casual and besides, how intimate can friendship be in primary school? Real test of friendship begins a bit later, when commitment of heart and substance come into play. That’s when the fractions and all their angles step up.
Maturity and experience is what necessitates the checks and balances that help us protect ourselves. I have kept the words that reader sent me close to my heart and even though its been a few years, it remains a gem I treasure. Its worth keeping, so please enjoy and treasure.
“When God wants to bless you, He sends a person in your life.When the devil wants to destroy you, he sends a person in your life.How can we tell the difference? By knowing your people connections.Your success depends on the quality of people you are connected to,and there are two types of people you’ll come in contact with throughout your lifetime.
*The 1st are those who add and multiply, thereby making you more than you are.
*The 2nd are those who subtract and divide, thereby devaluing you, making you less than you are.
Never allow people into your life without knowing their agenda. Find out where they came from and why they want to be connected to you.
When a person is in your life and your life is declining, they are not a God connection!
A healthy connection will protect your self-worth even when you’re experiencing a season of pain or struggling with a failure in your life. A true God connection will never abandon his assignment until you reach your full potential!”
It is a fruit of wisdom to examine motivation where there are human interactions, especially where pain, malice and deceit are on the menu. It is a fruit of maturity to practice caution in relationships where eagerness overwhelms integrity and information. It is a fruit of courage to say goodbye to the wrong fractions in all human interactions and it is reality to accept that every “hello” is a potential “goodbye”, every beginning an ending. People come and people go and its nothing personal; that’s just the way it is in human nature; they are all but fractions.