One way I stay mentally up-to-date is read online articles. They’re dope! Very good, I mean. Of course, I carefully select them; I endeavour not to let junks into my mental space, as there’s no gainsaying that there’re pieces of information that are more destructive than productive. Trust me, I’ve tested both sides, and can tell the difference. I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to rid myself of some ‘evil spirits’ I picked up from the pages of books. I bet you don’t want to try your legs in my shoes.
May I suggest the following sites: psychologytoday.com, entrepreneur.com, inc.com, richdad.com, robinsharma.com, samuelokonkwok.blogspot.com, businessinsider.com… One article from each site everyday can make a tremendous difference at the end of the day. In this game of information gathering, every little counts – and amount to much at the long run. And as much as you go crazy about specialization (knowing everything about something), make some room for generalization (knowing something about everything). We’re in the Information Age, remember? So, a lot depends on versatility. Get this straight from me: Go versatile or go volatile.
Back to the point in question: real human being. And this leans against the backdrop that other variants of “human being” exist. Of course, the opposite of real is virtual and fake. Therefore, we’ve at least the following calibers of human beings: real human beings, virtual human beings, and fake human beings.
Firstly, virtual human beings. You meet them on social media, especially Facebook and WhatsApp, and they’re darn good at putting up appearances. Their clothes are always sparkling, their hairdos are always dope, and their profile pictures are always killing. They’re always happy and never sad; their relationships are always perfect. They sound too gentlemanly to be real when you chat them up, and their courtesies are tantalizing. For these ones, many have given up their real-time relationships, because they are fun to have on the other end of the line.
Secondly, fake human beings. They can be in the virtual category too, but the parting line is the fact that they live lies. To say the least, everything about them is fake! They say they live on the Island when it’s actually Ajegunle. They say their parents are these when they’re actually those. They take snapshots at Shoprite and say they went shopping in Dubai. They ride in a friend’s car and say they just bought themselves one. They dress in borrowed robes and come out feeling on top of the world. Without mincing words, these are the worst human beings to have around our personal space.
Thirdly and finally, the real human beings. It is for this reason that I kick-started this piece by talking about my penchant for reading online articles. I wasn’t braggadocious about it; needed to push a point through with it. I read a piece yesterday where a certain Nour Essa described Pope Francis in these words: Francis is a real human being. And so it got me thinking…
What did Pope Francis do to have been described in those gracious words? This is it. On his way home from one of his foreign trips, the Pope tagged along three Syrian-Muslims families in his usually Alitalia-chartered flight back to Rome, to get them started on new lives there. This is squarely unusual, so striking that one of them commented: “…what the Pope did with us has never been done by an Arabic leader or by a Muslim religious man.”
Without much ado, four of what it takes to be really human includes:
No one is perfect; don’t feel like one
No matter how much one tries, perfection is out of reach. No one is flawless. So, why try selling others the impression that one is perfect. That’s fake! Be human. Embrace imperfection. Why do some ladies, for instance, forbid being seen without wearing makeup? I’m not suggesting they walk around town without being in their best, but they shouldn’t feel so embarrassed when someone runs into them when without makeup and other attachments. May I quickly add: while we can’t be perfect, we can aspire to it so as to reach “excellent.” Some said it best: We can reach for excellence, but perfection is God’s business. And excellence begins from 70% – not 100%
Don’t feel too strong
It is not part of being really human to feel too strong. Strong is just fine; too strong is off the mark. If you’ve lost someone truly dear, why not cry. If you truly love someone, why not say it. If something is painful, why not say it is. If a condition is not favorable anymore, why not quit. If you can’t take it anymore, why not report you can’t take it anymore. Come to think of it, what do we gain portraying “too strong”? Others’ admiration, right? And what makes us think others care? Sincerely, they really don’t care.
Be sympathetic and empathetic
These are awesome attributes of the real human being; the ability to feel pity for the other, and the ability to get into the other’s shoes – to feel where it pinches them. This is where Pope Francis’ action falls. He felt it for the Syrian families and got himself into their shoes. Feeling what they felt, he was moved on to pull them over to Rome.
Understand that failure is part of the game
The fake and virtual guys only showcase the sunny side of life. But life is never all sunny. Life can be messy, gloomy, tough, nasty, and even brutish. We must embrace all these sides of life whenever they come around our neighborhood. And we should talk about them (not dwell on them) and never be sorry for or ashamed of them. One thing about failure is that it can be a reliable teacher.