When being deaf pays
As we come to the end of February, I was just looking back at the month that was and I realized that even though it is a 29 day month, this month has literally flown. Lots of the stuff that I expected to accomplish in this month did not happen not because I didn’t initiate the process, but because there were third party inputs that needed to be made for me to accomplish them but unfortunately the 3rd parties did not do what they were supposed to do. All the same, I know in due course everything will come together and I will achieve what I needed to achieve.
The worst part about wanting to achieve something that is pegged on someone else’s input for it to happen is that those who do not know the other side of the story think you are doing nothing about it. They keep telling you stuff like, “you can’t make it, you are lazy, you are full of excuses, etc …” lots of negative words that discourage you instead of encouraging you. When stuff like that happens, I choose to detach myself from such negativity even if it means detaching myself from people I thought were my friends.
As a matter of fact, I have realized that the more I pray to God and ask Him to remove my enemies from my life, the fewer my friends become. It is sad to notice that fiends sometimes are disguised as friends. Well, years later, I have finally concluded that I’d rather have no friend than have friends who keep pulling you down, or plot for your downfall, or those who keep thinking negative about you all the time, while judging you and jumping into conclusions about things they know nothing about. What ever happened to life being simple like it was in the Garden of Eden?
That is why I love fables. Fables make life look very simple. A life where animals talk, where trees sing and dance, where people and animals live together in harmony, I mean, they make life look like paradise. I wonder what would happen if any of these things mentioned above happened in real life, you know, where for instance you walked into the kitchen to find a cockroach and on seeing you it shouts at the top of its voice, “danger!” or a situation where you are going to milk your cow and it tells you, “today I’m not in the mood”, or a situation where you want to play “fetch” with your dog but when you throw him the item he is supposed to fetch he tells you, “you threw it, now go get it yourself”. How would we human beings react to all that? I’m not even going to think about the mosquitoes and the wall geckos and what they’d say to us if they were to speak.
I guess fables are just that, fables; fictional stories that feature animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that are anthropomorphized (given human qualities, such as verbal communication) and that illustrate or lead to an interpretation of a moral lesson, which may at the end be added explicitly as a meaningful principle of life.
So as I was saying, I love fables because every so often I get lost in that fictional world and get to see the world from a different perspective. Sometimes I wonder whether this is how God had intended for us to live, where nature was at peace and in harmony with everything in it, where animals and humans could live together in harmony without preying on each other but probably praying for each other! Anyway, when I get to heaven I will ask Him.
As for today I am going to share yet another fable with you. Here goes….
There once was a bunch of tiny frogs who got together to arrange a competition to reach to the top of the highest tower in town.
As the date for the competition was announced, the news spread everywhere and a crowd in large numbers gathered around the tower to see this interesting competition and cheer on the contestants. The crowd did not really believe any of these little frogs were going to make it to the top of the tower. Yet they were curious…
The competition began, the frogs quickly started to ascend and the crowd cheered!
As a few moments passed, someone from the crowd shouted, "Not a chance that they will succeed! The tower is too high!"
Another spectator said, "Yes, they will never make it to the top. It's way too difficult!"
As the competition continued, some of the tiny frogs began collapsing. One by one… tired… exhausted… But the race continued… as those who still had the fight left, passionately continued to climb higher and higher…
In the excitement and anxiety the crowd continued to yell, "It is too difficult. No one will make it!"
More tiny frogs got tired and gave up. They all continued to give up one by one, until there was only ONE little frog left in the competition who continued to climb higher and higher and higher…
This one wouldn’t give up!
This one tiny frog who, after a big effort was the only one who reached the top! This little soul was the winner! He made it! He got the glory!
Naturally, everyone wanted to know how this one tiny frog managed to pull it off when every other contestant gave up. Everybody wanted to know how this tiny frog had found the strength to reach this goal that everyone else thought it was impossible. So, they asked questions.
It turned out that the winner was deaf, and this right here was the main ingredient for the frog’s win.
Friends, many are the times when we have lost hope halfway through our dreams and goals because we listened to the NEGATIVE stuff people around us are saying ABOUT and TO US. Like this frog, sometimes we need to be deaf to such people and move on no matter what the circumstances around us say. Winners never pay attention to what other people’s opinions are when it comes to their dreams and goals. What I have come to realize is that half the time those who are busy trying to pull you down have no dreams or goals of their own. They walk around purposeless and aimless, being blown whichever way the wind blows like a flag on a pole.
Avoid such people and instead be determined to focus on your goal and march in confidence. Remember, people who do not have the same vision you have, people who are not helping you reach your destination and/or your dream will always have opinions and generally, not positive opinions at all. The best you can do is not pay any attention to them. I think, this is the one time when being deaf is a plus point because if you are deaf, then it means you cannot hear the negativity being hurled your way.
As long as you believe in yourself like the little frog did, as long as you are determined and focused to achieve your dream, as long as you know where you want to go and why you are going there, nothing else anyone says should matter, unless it is geared to helping you achieve your goal. You need to realize that in very many cases, those who discourage your dreams have most likely abandoned their own. So why listen to someone advising you how to reach your goal/dream when they already stopped chasing theirs?
So this week as we end the 2nd month of the year and start the 3rd month I’d like to encourage you in one simple sentence: Be deaf when people tell you that you cannot fulfill your dreams and goals.
Instead, go out there and derive pleasure in doing what people say you cannot do. As you go about achieving your dream keep in mind that people too weak to follow their own dreams will always find a way to discourage you from achieving yours. Do not let them.
Wishing you all renewed determination and strength to climb harder to reach your goals/dreams this March.
PS: Article originally published in Tanzania's Guardian on Sunday on the 28th February, 2016, under my weekly column "Thoughts in Words".