Friday 25 June 2021

Character in Amsterdam

Absent from presence

Amsterdam, and what comes to mind is the Red-Light District and coffee shops, to the initiated, the former refers to legalised sex trade and the latter to easy access marijuana. There is a likelihood that people would visit Amsterdam to observe and experience that part of the city which is hardly the full story of a city of culture, architecture, music, and amazing diversity.

Fundamentally, Amsterdam residents do not spend their lives in sex shops or getting stoned, there is more to life than that and I lived in Amsterdam for almost 13 years. Now, I appreciate that when I first moved to Amsterdam, many of my colleagues did get carried away with the fun at the expense of their purpose for being there, once the novelty wore out, many had exhausted the goodwill of their sojourn.

Some of us knowing what was available chose not to be amenable to the vicissitudes of lasciviousness, regularly invited we did not participate even if we had the freedom and latitude to indulge with reckless abandon.

Damned either way?

We must however separate the place from the person, that a person visits a place should not mean the person defaults to the reputation of the place in its notoriety. People have discipline, character, and purpose, in the midst of great temptation, people do have the resolve to resist and not succumb just because the opportunity and possibility presents.

In the same vein, there is a need to know the difference between the person and the place by reputation. Knowing the person and trusting what the person will do especially unsupervised is to ascribe a modicum of integrity on the person. The person might be given to mischief and yet be quite honourable and full of consideration for others. Then by reputation, Amsterdam can be a crazy place; damned if you do, more damned if you don’t.

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