Tag Archives: Social media

Take me as I am: Part 2

For the last five years or so, I’ve been on a social media hiatus. Reason being, being a person who struggles with anxiety, I noticed social media is a constant trigger. So for health purposes, I made a conscious decision to just take a break; and I must say, it does feel calming not having to worry about things people are sharing or not sharing.

Since ours is a formal setup, we agreed we would share all important documents and information on Googlegroups. That way, no one would feel inconvenienced. Needless to say, not everyone would understand an odd situation like mine. One of our members seemed hostile towards me from the onset. When discussing issues she would always shoot me down, until it became so obvious to other members.

Growing up, I learnt that confrontations aggravate strained situations, so incensed as I was, I tried to be patient with her. One time, another one of our group members commended me for being so mature about it. This went on for a while, until one Sunday when she called all members for a Monday meeting on WhatsApp. Everyone else assumed she had notified me about it, so they didn’t inform me.

That Monday I got to school early as usual, oblivious to the fact that there was a firm meeting. I went on to do my morning studies before class started. Later after the first session, I ran into her in the washrooms and that’s when she told me the group had met up. I didn’t want to seem agitated so I told her it was ok. Since not all members had been present, we had another meeting in the afternoon to be briefed on what guys had discussed in the morning.

It was to discuss some assignment, but as I later figured out, some basic requirements on how to undertake it had been flouted. Subsequently, I brought the matter up to everyone’s attention. She argued that I should join WhatsApp as that was convenient for everyone. I felt she was being insensitive towards me and I told her it was unfair for her to treat me that way simply because I was not on WhatsApp like everyone else.

Her behaviour made me realise how most of the time we’re insensitive towards other people, just because they are different. In my case for instance, I seem like an outlier because I’m not conforming to the norm of being on social media. For someone else, it will be something different. That begs the question; must we all be the same for us to be considered ‘normal’? I think not.

I always like to think we’re all different, and those differences make us unique. It would be so boring if we all behaved and thought the same way. Taking this into consideration, I think we should endeavour to take people as they are. We might not always like or agree with what some people do, but chances are, if we cared enough to ask, we would find they have some compelling reason for being/behaving the way they do.

Take me as I am: Part 1

Three months ago I joined bar school. Even though things are anything but easy, I would say so far the going’s ok. When I got there, the first perceptible difference was the huge number of new faces. That was expected though, because it was an entirely different institution from the one I’d been in for the last four years during my undergrad. Thankfully, in that sea of foreign faces, there were some former colleagues of mine and that was a huge relief, taking my introverted nature into consideration.

Ordinarily, I’m those people who could walk into a room full of people, and after the end of the session, walk out without having spoken to anyone. Depending on the mood I’m in, sometimes it feels ok, but sometimes it makes me feel lonely. Since I was a child, I have always had trouble socializing because it does feel like a task, for the most part at least.

Nonetheless, when I meet someone and I get to know them over time, I could be the chattiest person. In such cases I consider myself an extroverted introvert. My closest friends could attest to this. Sometimes they think I’m just crazy, but in a fun way. In some previous posts I have talked about my introversion.

Therefore, when I saw familiar faces from campus, I felt relieved because I didn’t have to worry about making new friends and all… However, this being a new institution, some things were bound to be different. For instance, in campus I was my class’ president for four years; but when we got to elect our class president in bar school, I did not vie because I felt I needed to take a breather. Being in a position of leadership puts one in the spotlight and I was craving some sense of quiet and invisibility.

The other different thing is that in campus we had the autonomy of forming our own discussion groups. However, in bar school, we were divided into firms long before we even started classes. The effect of this is that in my case for instance, majority of my group members were foreign faces; and, given the bulk of work that is required to be carried out in groups, it meant I would have to familiarise myself with them all.

After our first class, my group members and I met briefly to introduce ourselves and we agreed I would be the firm leader. Given that I had been the president of a class of about one hundred and fifty students, being the firm leader of a group of twelve felt pretty manageable. But as it would turn out, that was a wrong assumption I made.

See, in my former class, my colleagues got to know me and they figured what kind of a person I was, and thankfully, they accepted me for who I was. They did not try to change me. In my firm on the other hand, my colleagues don’t know me and half of the times I feel they treat me with suspicion.

The genesis of this is I told them that currently I’m not on WhatsApp, or any other social media platform for that matter. Given that we’re currently living in an era where almost all social conversations and business negotiations take place on social media, they found it strange. One of my group members asked if it’s because I was trolled, and I told her I wasn’t.

 

Lord, what shall I do?

the annunciation

Everytime we pray, we’re always asking, “Lord, I need…” or “Lord give me…” We always know what we need from God. But how many times do we remember to ask Him, “What do you want me to do Lord?” or “What shall I do?”

Nowadays there are many false prophets, and what they want people to believe is that God only talks to them. What they fail to realize is that God actually talks to everyone; whether they believe in Him or not and what makes the difference is whether we listen or not.

Many people will refute this because in their minds, God would speak to someone in a booming baritone, or alternatively one would expect some major sign like the wind howling, windows banging as they shut violently, leaves falling from branches as trees bend and all… but truth is God has more subtle ways of visiting us, and it’s only when we’re quiet; when we listen to the voice inside our hearts that we actually hear God’s voice.

He guides us; speaking to us through our conscience…for instance, when a married woman/man keeps getting hit on by other men/women, especially on social media and all, God gives them the shrewdness to know they should remain faithful to their partners.

Nonetheless, some people adamantly ignore that voice and subsequently go ahead to engage in clandestine affairs. Even then, they continue to feel tormented by guilt, because at the back of their minds they know that is wrong. That little voice in our heads going on and on that whatever it is we’re doing is wrong is God’s voice… or that voice urging us to do something good that we’re so afraid of doing

Additionally, we should strive to do good. When we hurt others, it’s not God’s work we’re doing, but the devil’s. If you’re in a public place for instance, and you see someone crying, don’t just pull out a phone and send the person’s crying face with captions like, “Stress is real…” on networking sites.

It is sad, that nowadays many young people seem to have lost touch with reality. Everything done is mainly to impress a wider audience-mostly on social media. It’s advisable for one to reach out to the aggrieved person instead of mocking them; even if they are rude, you will have the satisfaction of knowing you tried. That is doing God’s work; doing the extra ordinary; even blessing those who wrong us.

Many people seem to be under the impression that God’s work entails going to church every Sunday, reading the bible, donating money to charity (even when the donations are merely a pretext, so one can win over the public) …

Truth is, there’s someone who’s never stepped foot in a church/a place of worship, but they will go to heaven regardless. This is because, they spend their lives serving God, even though they may be oblivious to it. In actual sense, they are better than the pastors/church ministers who stand in the pulpit, preaching God’s word and later go on to sleep with married women from their congregation.

They are better than those of us, who have crammed several verses of the bible but when we go out there we’re the cause of breakups between married folks; we instigate fights between friends; basically perpetuating hatred and violence.

Being a believer in God is more than just going to church and reading the bible. Of importance is whether we live what we preach or we just preach love and brig hatred? Kindness, and push away those who come to us for help…

God gets really pleased with us when we dedicate our lives to help others. Sometimes we may be willing to serve Him somehow but we are unable to figure out how. If in silence, we ask Him to help us know what to do, He will talk to us.

As we ready ourselves for the birth of the Messiah, we should reflect on Mary’s humility… When the angel Gabriel visited her, telling her she would conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit, she didn’t object, instead, full of humility, she replied, “I am the Lord’s servant, may it happen to me as you have said.” (Luke 1: 38).

happy holidays

In the same way, we should focus on God’s voice; listen to His command and ask Him to grant us the grace to do, that which He desires from us.

Let’s invite God into our hearts; that He may be born in us this Christmas.

 

Lord, protect me from my friends

“Lord, protect me from my friends, because I know who my enemies are.”

This is a prayer I see people post a lot on social media. It makes so much sense. We all know who our enemies are, but with all the beautiful masks our ‘friends’ hide behind, it becomes difficult to tell the real friends from the fake ones; most of the people we regard as friends are just wolves masquerading as sheep (pardon me for the expression; I just thought it perfectly describes frenemies).

Naturally, friends come in different sizes and colours; it just becomes difficult to tell who’s real and who’s not. Some friends will only stick around when everything’s okay, but the instant things start going downhill, they start vanishing one by one, as if by magic. At the end of the day one finds themselves alone, without a shoulder to lean on.

It’s during these low moments in our lives that we get to really know who our real friends are…that’s what I used to think, until I realized there’s another bunch of friends, who delight at other people’s woes. They seem helpful when one is going through that dark phase. If one is hungry, they’ll be more than happy to offer them food. We love them more, because they stood by us when everything had gone awry, when everyone else ditched us.

Again, it becomes difficult to tell the fake from the real friends, because some of these friends who stay with us during the storm disappear as soon as it abates. I never understood it as a child; I thought everyone who sticks around during tough times automatically passes the true friend test. It’s only now, when I’m all grown that it’s all starting to look different from what I’d perceived earlier.

Apparently, not all friends delight at one’s success; it sounds somewhat evil when I say it, but it’s as true as the sky is blue. These are those friends who only like it when they are helping with temporary things, but hate it when someone finds a long term solution to their problem. They’ll be so quick to let one hitch a ride with them, but when one buys their own car they vanish, and when one bumps into them occasionally on the streets they’ll be in a foul mood, even though they try to hide it behind a plastic smile.

They just like to see someone dependent on them; I guess knowing someone is entirely at their mercy gives them some false feeling of power…so they know if they want to hurt/frustrate you they’ll just withhold the aid.

Then there are those friends who act all sweet and loving in one’s presence, but the minute they get out of one’s sight they spread all kinds of malicious gossip. They will snatch one’s boyfriend; go behind them so one loses that promotion at work.

The worst thing about these fake friends- frenemies if you rather- is that we allow them into our inner circles, so they know us inside out; they know our Achilles’ heels, so it becomes easy for them to carry out whatever evil schemes they have up their sleeves.

As a kid, I was really trusting; I thought people who were good to me were my friends, but in these few years I’ve lived, relatively speaking, I’ve gotten my fair share of fake friends, who’ve turned me into a real skeptic. I’ve learned to be wary. I know they could show their fangs anytime.So even though I smile at them, at the back of my head I know I should be on my guard.

When it comes to the business of making friends, I know not everyone who smiles at me is my friend, and not everyone who scowls at me is my enemy; it could just be because they’re offended by something I did. I know that sometimes the people we consider our closest friends could be our greatest enemies. It’s just that time reveals them when the damage has been done, unfortunately.

fake friends