Thursday, 3 January 2008

The absence of character

People I meet

I cannot say I am good judge of character from the onset. People grow on me, I observe them, learn from them, appreciate them and sometimes judge them – I am only human.

However, everyone starts with a measure which has me believing the very best of them, some impress, some inspire and some disappoint.

I have been honoured by people who have allowed me to touch their lives in whatever small way; I am always full of joy when they go on to become very successful, where I have had opportunity to share my experience some use the information to positive effect, if they become more successful than I am, it gives me even greater pleasure and fulfilment.

In my time, I have also met people who have had difficult upbringings, like being fostered in abusive environments or thrown out of their homes by parents who sometimes forget that the child does not turn out to be something that is completely oblivious of their input or lack of it.

Not a perfect child

Now, I was not a perfect child, I gave my parents headaches and I once had one after being head-butted by my dad – I do not fault my upbringing, my parents did what they knew best; with hindsight there are probably a lot of things that could have been done differently.

This adds another item to my New Year's Considerations – estranged from the patriarch of the Akintayo clan for years, there are scars that have refused to heal, somehow, one has to resolve these issues – none of us are growing any younger, the time for feeling the pain should end for a time of reconciliation and possible restitution – if only.

Surviving as social misfits

Of these people, I have been seriously encouraged by their ability to strike out for survival, they may not yet attain or be able to afford luxuries but they are not burdens on society – some are still striving to better themselves and they would continue to receive both my support and encouragement in their development.

Unfortunately, much as survival is an instinct, most have become men but have been unable to become gentlemen. They lack a sense of duty or responsibility, their loyalties are built upon meeting needs rather than growing enduring friendships – there is no sense of character and they never take any criticism in good light, no matter how constructive, they are rebellious long before they are cornered or found out.

This absence of character is exposed at those points where trust, responsibility or expectation has been invested and they have come short.

My ruined pearls

Sadly, there are instances where the proverbial pearls are cast before swine and they are trampled upon – give them independence and they think they have the whole world; give them freedom and familiarity almost always breeds contempt – they burn their bridges long before they have had opportunity to cross them.

Somehow, there is a fatalistic tendency to act or react without consideration of the consequences – I am left utterly amazed at times, but in due course I learn that what makes a man is more than what you see of them in an instant - that instant is sometimes also the sum of who they are.

If the necessary pruning is not done when the young tree is growing, you might have to take completely developed branches off at a later date – in all, I still believe the best of people and hope that there are ways in which I can adapt to things that my opinionated perception finds repulsive.

Again, these are my observations, your experiences would almost certainly be very different.

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