Yester-night, I listened to my little 19 year old brother finding it hard to accept that the people who he thought would always come through for him disappoint him.
A little background information: we were raised by a single mother who loved us fiercely, provided for us in every way, put our needs before hers, protected us fiercely and who sadly died last year after a short illness. I had just turned 22 and in my final semester in varsity, my little brother was 2 months shy off 18 and in his final year in high school. Her death left us hurt, alone and confused but despite all that, he passed his final exam, secured a place in a good university (he studies Bsc Computer Security and Forensics) and I graduated with a B.A Degree in Economics and Sociology.
My little bro arrived home this week for a 4 months holiday and being smart as he is, he has secured an internship in a Tech Company at the capital. He needs a place to stay during the internship so logically, he started making calls to people he knows there. As you can probably guess, he got either negative feedbacks or no answers or no call backs and text backs. This is excruciating and difficult for his young mind to accept and that is probably why he kept reassuring himself that they will come through for him. This of course means I am caught between the rock and hard place of whether to tell him the truth about how most people are or letting him learn it himself and praying that he has the strength to handle whatever he learns.
It has been a year and seven months since we lost our mother and in the ambiguously short and long time, I have matured a lot, learned a ton and wisened up a few years. I have learned that some people are very big-mouthed at making promises and tight-fisted when it comes to delivering them while others don’t make them but surprise you when you least expect them. I have learned to just smile beautifully when someone makes a promise and how not to take it at heart as that leads to disappointments. I have also learned to shut my mouth when I am about to make a promise and only surprise that person when I can as un-kept promises lead to pain and resentment.
I have learned that as much as no man is an island, we don’t need people to succeed. Who we need is God; to fully trust and hope in Him. What we need is to know that people are not reliable. That we can’t depend on them and if we do, we get hurt which might lead to hatred. That is not heathy now, is it? That the only person on this earth we can really depend on is ourselves. That constant self-improvement and resilience are the top recipes for success.
I have learned that everybody is busy living their lives and jumping over and stumbling on their own hurdles. That is probably why they are unreliable. Therefore we can’t hold it against them. Hypothetically, if this person is your grandfather or a very close relative, you have to cut ties with them to save your precious little big heart from their toxicity *wink wink.
I have learned to be my own strength, my own hero, to be my knight in shining armor, to stand up for myself, to be my own happiness and to be my absolute BEST SELF.
Above all, I have learned to treasure those who go hard for me cause that’s a rare beautiful thing.
Keeping all these in mind is freeing, peaceful and opens greater paths to success.
*I originally published this on Medium using my real name but made some few changes here.