Tuesday 31 August 2021

Recognising those who believed in me

Those who make life

In life, there are those who expect of you, those who demand of you, and those who believe in you. Expectations set a high bar, the challenge for which you must find the capacity laden with responsibility coupled with the fear of failure. Where you do not meet that expectation, you face criticism, excoriation, ostracism, and possible condemnation.

To those who set the expectations, usually unwritten and untaught, you are just supposed to know your role, responsibility, character, attitude, purpose, virtue, initiative, and duty by default, to clean your room, to do your chores, to pass your exams, to not fall pregnant mistakenly, to know the use and management of money; essentially, be normal whilst being exceptional. You are on a treadmill with a clear trajectory and purpose of making people proud and never anywhere near disappointing.

Living for others

You are living but probably living for others, writing your story which has all the accoutrements of achievement whilst to you, it might well be boring. Life becomes a rat race of continually set goals from which there might be little satisfaction, if ever some respite. Having met all expectations, you wonder if you are content and fulfilled, or if ever pleasing others is the essence of life and living.

To those on whom fortitude, providence, and expectation has defined a clear path of how life should be, as they have confidently navigated the complexities and vicissitudes to the point of being prepared and ready to assume responsibility and despatch it with panache, if it has not been a burden and a prison of being a goldfish in a bowl where you have no say or autonomy apart from the call of duty, you have earned your epaulettes.

When it runs out

Demands, however, will always be made, those made of us and the ones we make of others and crucially the ones we make of ourselves could be found in meeting expectations as well as in failure where opportunities are lost, and things fall off the perfect route to success.

Life stories emanate from all kinds of adversity, where the unplanned centres on your way and the smooth is derailed into the rough that you cannot begin to breathe, to dream, or to hope. Many of those who set great expectations would have long deserted you, as in their notion tough love is the best response to the rut you are in.

Getting to the turn

In the depths of despair, defeat, depression, and despondency where everything seems to be lost you wonder where and when things are going to turn. In failure, in disaster, in sickness, in loss, in apparent hopelessness, I have found that those who have believed in me usually indirectly have expressed themselves and girded me through a mother’s love, an uncle’s support, many friends’ encouragement, neighbourly generosity, strangers’ goodness, a lover's love, and all-round human kindness.

They have come with a message of strength that there is no depth you cannot rise out of, that the issues the day are only for a moment and they shall pass, that you have the grit to progress rather than give up, that you will always have a better story to tell beyond the now. We find that we are blessed beyond measure where there are people who believe in us long before we found the ability to believe in ourselves.

And they believed

Their expectations are willing us on rather than disparaging our efforts, giving us hope rather than taking away our prospects, they see us in our potential and never in our failings, their hearts, arms, and hands are open to embrace us, to comfort us, to guide us through the hard times, to listen to our cries in the darkest times, they are sympathy and empathy personified, like angels of mercy and goodness.

I am where I am today because of those who believed more than those who expected and to them I daily owe a debt of gratitude. That we may never forget those who against all odds simply believed that the best is yet to come.

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