Ayo is an OND holder who now has a thriving business. He is dating Jane, a freshman in the university. Because Jane comes from a penurious background, Ayo has opted to foot all her school bills; and not only that, he takes care of her feeding and general welfare also. The lovers have an agreement to get married as soon as Jane concludes the mandatory National Youth Service Corps. Their parents are also aware of this, and Jane’s parents who live in the village are especially grateful to Ayo for the constant financial support he lends.
Things are going well between the love birds until Jane wraps her programme. As agreed, Ayo suggests it’s time to initiate the process of their wedding, but Jane asks him to be patient while she sorts a few things out. Six months later, they are still in limbo concerning the wedding. Ayo senses that Jane isn’t so thrilled about it anymore unlike times past when she would gush about how she couldn’t wait to marry him. And after complaining to her parents repeatedly, they say they can’t force their daughter to take decisions against her will.
In the end, Jane confesses she can’t marry Ayo anymore. She, a chemical engineer, cannot imagine herself as a wife to a lower diploma holder. She’s now seeing a fellow university graduate who is a qualified doctor and they are due to tie the knot soon.
Ayo is devasted. He is angry. He is bitter. After all the love and support he has shown Jane and the huge financial investment he has made in her, she has left him in a lurch. He can’t believe he snubbed many other girls who were willing to do anything to be with him just because he wanted to faithful to Jane.
And so he swears he will get even somehow. He knows he has been cheated; belittled because he has limited education. But he will not stay cheated. He will make sure Jane and her family pay for the humiliation somehow.
The natural human instinct prods us to retaliate when we are offended. The concept of forgiveness is often touted—but like reciting a nursery rhyme—it is a phenomenon we chant about without necessarily practising. These days, one is termed stupid if they let a deliberate act of wrongdoing against them go unavenged. When a friend betrays us, we devise means to make them regret their actions. Harsh words are countered with vituperation and a refusal to lend a helping hand is evened up with indifference when the offender finds themselves in a tight situation.
Because we exist at a time when we are overwhelmed with ginormous personal and societal challenges, tempers are short and patience is only a virtue in fairytales. You are deemed weak when you refuse to react the way the average person would to a slight. Because people have a tendency to take advantage of the meek, the general advice is to be quick to detect and deflect any unwelcome gesture. When we choose to be different, others scoff…they know better…our docility will not cease to be trampled upon.
My experience has been a departure from the norm. Like most people, I am hurt when someone willingly takes steps to discredit me. I am nonplussed as to the motive, and more often than not, my instinct is to have a candid conversation with the individual with the aim to find answers. As I journey through life, however, I have found that sometimes, it’s better to let things go.
Yes, be aware that someone dislikes you for no reason. Worse still, they are actively seeking ways to bring you down, yet choose to let it slide.
I am not recommending this approach for every case. At times, you have to stand up for yourself and refuse to be ill-treated. It’s also not a terrible thing to be vocal against bullying or speak to a person about their obvious bad behaviour, but you may want to choose your battles on a number of occasions.
When one is obsessed with a wrong that was done them, it’s only a matter of time before their bitterness consumes them. There are many cases like Ayo’s; people have been jilted by their longtime partners, stabbed in the back by a friend, abandoned by family, and ostracised by society.
In fact, it would not be far-fetched to surmise that most of us carry some degree of hurt around. We pretend to have let go, but we still feel pangs of pain whenever we remember how someone ratted us out or caused us great loss.
Let go. Try not to harbour hate or hurt; you’ll only deepen the wounds that were inflicted. The good news is: the cosmic takes care of these things such that those who are in the habit of damaging others run into trouble at some point. Call it karma or nature’s vengeance, but, it almost always happens.
Without your input. Without you deliberately orchestrating their downfall. At other times, these people become remorseful and ask for forgiveness.
Choosing to be silent or appear unaffected when we are dealt a bad hand is a battle we must lose to win the war of life.