BLOW THE TRUMPET
It is not wise to blow your trumpet. This is a very wise and popular advice. It means that it is better for other people to sing your praises. When you sing your own praises, you are being boastful.
This is quite true but if you cannot blow your own trumpet, why don’t you help other people blow theirs?
I went to see a customer care officer in a bank one day. As I sat there, a lady with a VERY LARGE FROWN on her face came and sat beside me. My first reaction (like many of us do) was to move away for her or condemn her in my mind. ‘Why is she frowning?’ I may have asked myself.
But I had a nudging in my spirit and I greeted her, ‘Good afternoon.’ She looked at me as if I was something the cat dragged into her house and the frown on her face grew bigger. That still did not scare me away and I said, with my smile still intact, ‘I like your shoes.’
I wish you were there to see the transformation. Her face lit up like a thousand stars. Then the sweetest smile I had ever seen brightened her countenance as she said ‘Thank You.’ Thereafter, she had a very pleasant expression on her face.
That encounter taught me a lot of lessons.
Most normal people love compliments. They crave it and when they get it, it brightens their day. Who know what she was going through? Maybe she needed a kind word to make her happy.
I read an interesting post from my Facebook friend, Heather Lindsay. She told the story of how her three year old son went with her to a supermarket. As they were leaving, he tapped his mother and said,
‘Mummy, I want to tell that lady that she is beautiful.’
‘Which lady?’ She asked him.
‘That lady!’ the little boy pointed to a lady who looked far from friendly.
His mother told him that he could not just walk up to any lady and say that. And she scolded him. Thereafter, she told a friend about the incident, remarking that her son at his age was already having a crush on a lady. But her friend saw the matter differently.
‘What if that lady was suffering from a low self-esteem? Maybe she has been told she is ugly and hates herself. If an older man tells her she is beautiful, she may think he wants something from her. But if a little boy says it, she is more likely to believe it.’
Heather was pensive as she listened to her friend. She never saw the incident from that angle and she wished she allowed her son talk to the lady.
I think about these events in the light of the recent story of a doctor who jumped into a lagoon in Lagos. Many times, we are insensitive to the plight of others. We try to downplay what people are going through.
‘What is it? Are you the only one going through challenges? Stop being melodramatic.
Everyone has an elastic limit. A point beyond which sanity snaps into two. I guess that doctor reached his.
Some years ago in Nigeria, a popular newscaster committed suicide because she was raped. Another woman somewhere else was raped and set up a foundation to help rape victims.
The same scenarios. Different reactions.
You may criticise the first lady for her action but you have to realise that not everyone sees life the same way. And it falls on those who are strong to support the weak. If you are excelling in a particular area, help others who are struggling.
Sometimes we quicken people’s suicide with our words. Have you ever left someone’s presence and felt as if a trailer ran over you? That’s what happens when we are insensitive to people’s problems.
If you don’t have anything positive to say to someone, choose not to speak.
Everyone needs a kind word now and gain. When people talk to you, make them feel BETTER and not BITTER. Learn to help people blow their trumpet.