Just earlier today I read Tobi Atte’s article “Make Your Wife Go Crazy Over You… Without Spending Money” on BellaNaija (read it here).
Having read the post, I naturally scrolled down to read the comments, as – with most Nigerian blogs- the commentators are simply always the crème de la crème. Anyway, so women were going on about just how much sense his suggestions made (and I totally agree, mushy-me had tear-filled-eyes at the mere imagination of such prospects) and how just every man should read this article.
I agreed. I still do.
And although most men would read and see how it all made sense, agree to possessing the ability to actually do these things, only a handful of these would actually ever commit to doing them over a prolonged time.
Naturally, the question of WHY arose in my mind.
Why was it that some would read, understand, and do; while others would simply read, understand, and continue living their lives as they have?
Some again, would read, understand, do.. and stop doing; while others might never ever read but always do anyway.
What made the difference? And I am not talking about our right to choose here. I mean, what made people choose between making a change vs leaving things as were?
I was reminded of a conversation I had with a new friend of mine just nights ago..
I hear what you are saying. And I will try. I just love you. And no, I am not going to try because I love you, but because what you say is true.
You know, I thought about it today. When did we meet? When last did I open my Bible? Me? Sit down? Open the Bible? Actually Read? (laughs). No, I’m not like that.
But now I read it regularly. Simply because at the back of my head I’m thinking, ‘Ah, what if Yinka now asks me if I read my Bible? I can’t lie..’ And so I’ll read it anyway, even when I’m tired. Not to impress you o. Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t know. It’s just encouraging, you know. There is that power that you have. It’s a really good one. Like, what Mr. Rapu was saying in church.. using your powers. Thank you for using them positively on me.
Following this, I was just about to start saying much in “my defence”. How I did not want him to do certain things simply because he felt like I wanted him to do them. Emphasised the fact that he wasn’t doing it for me but for himself, and that I didn’t want to brainwash him into acting against his will, or forcing him to walk a path he was neither willing nor ready to walk.. And of course, I could have said much more, but it would have been hypocritical, for he understood exactly what I had been doing. And even-though I think I secretly wished he hadn’t, my desire had been exactly that: to influence him positively.
One of my few or many (I do not even know..?) principles in life has always been leaving people better than I meet them. I’m too young and have done way too little to call it a legacy; but be it a circle of friends, a workplace, a church, extended family or relationship: at the forefront of it all has always been making sure those people, businesses, groups or circles are better off for having met me. It makes moving on so much easier..
Anyway, as I kept examining my thoughts, Leo Buscaglia’s quote came to mind,
Don’t walk in my head with your dirty feet.
The Bible refers to it as bad company corrupting good manners. Over times, seasons, generations and nations we have seen the power of influence. The power in the hand of the law-maker vs those who advice the courts. The power of the king vs his queen. The power of a husband vs that of his wife.
But truth remains: we often underestimate the influence others have over us, be it intentional or not. The influence of the people we hang out with, open up to, share our dreams, hopes, desires and fears with; the influence of the books we read, artists we watch, idols we create.
We brush their powers over us of, just as Rehoboam (perhaps to a more obvious extent) did in 1 Kings 12 when he rejected the advice of his elders and went ahead to follow through with the inexperienced, ungodly, and sheer wicked counsel received from his friends. The rest is (literally) history..
I guess all I am really trying to say is this..
If a boyfriend/husband can be positively influenced just after five minutes of reading an inspiring article and see his relationship go from zero to hero; and if a friend can be positively influenced in numerous areas of his life just after a few weeks of communication, imagine what a difference we could make if we purposefully chose to live each day positively and pro-actively influencing (not brainwashing or manipulating) someone, and making sure that our own influence(r)s have been filtered too.
Let’s try harder to separate ourselves from all things that have the appearance of evil. Let’s make sure that when talked or thought about it would be done with a smile, a jump in the heart, the knowledge of a testimony: this one influenced me, and I am glad he/she did.
You see, real influence has little to do with positional power, but all with believing, speaking, and doing what is right. Your greatest power ever would always have been your own godly life (in essence: Him living through you)!