Given the choice between the rule of a Colonizer or the misrule of your freshly minted independent peers, the opportunity for Sovereignty makes the choice a no-brainer. After all, we, too, are men in the same way the Colonizers are men. No?
Nobody admits to misrule being a possibility or, worse, a feature of how we will govern prior to Independence. Yet, a few years into Independence, when, not if misrule is alleged, there is the predictable denial or, at best, an acknowledgment that a very junior staffer was misguided or misdirected, hence the misnomer. The misunderstanding has incorrectly been labeled a scandal.
Scandals, it seems, are the apertures that stay open -uncomfortably too long for some but long enough for others through which light and insight filter to reveal our ideas of self-rule. Indeed, there are folks who would rather endure misrule by their political party or reluctantly by mine than be ruled by overbearing, nitpicking Colonizers from afar. That response should give us pause, I think.
What in the world should ever give us reason to benchmark that degree of failure as a preferable way of life? Isn’t that a case of deliberately jumping from the frying pan into the fire?
Perhaps. Perhaps not.
The essence of a crisis compared to a scandal is not only what we know but when we know it and, most importantly or devastatingly, how it is revealed or found out. For all these will weigh significantly on our response as we salvage our pride and reputation or recover a sense of who we are.
Suddenly finding out that your spouse has been sleeping with your best friend is not just a window into betrayal and possibly life-altering infidelity but a crisis of some importance. Yet it is not uncommon in that moment of “confusion that should be crystal clear” for us to wish a) it had never happened, b) it happened with a stranger, or c) blame ourselves for being inattentive to our spouse’s needs. In other words, our response- whatever the merits of the situation- will most likely be a factor in a no-win recurring cycle, at least until we get a hold of ourselves and figure out what our responsibility should be. For in trying to shield our shame and guilt or save face, we can injure others or excuse the transactional nature of how we are evaluated and treated.
“But what am I supposed to do?” We can ask that question until the cows come home. Misrule, or scandals and crises as we like to refer to them, are features of our insecurities and vulnerabilities that haunt us. More importantly, though, they reflect the cover-up we employ to deceive and gain an advantage at others’ expense.
With that in mind, let’s answer the question of what to do.
The issue we face, especially because of the inherent “confusion at somethings that should be crystal clear,” is to focus on our responsibility rather than our responses which seek to protect or prioritize our ego.
What does it matter if someone betrays you for an imagined future to secure himself if you are committed and focused on your goals? I am unsure, even as I would encourage everyone- myself included- whether we precipitated the fraud and the betrayal or we were the unwitting hoodwinked wet behind the ears starry-eyed fools to keep faith with an improved vision of ourselves. For if we succumb to the pull of mediocrity or despair and allow our dignity to be negotiated by excuses, no matter how genuine or reasonable they are, we are opening ourselves to a world of hurt.
Misrule, whether we understand it this way or not, is about training ourselves to roll with the punches and put up with stuff that robs us of our humanity and our dignity. The accommodation we make in all of this is to console and congratulate ourselves on our resilience. This is not positive, in my view, and we better not see it that way, or there will be hell to pay as we lurch from one crisis to another with no discernible benefit to show.
The value of misrule does not lie in the individual events that gut us and separate us from our confidence, but over time renders us powerless to even be Principals in our own affairs. At what point does it become obvious to us that misrule renders us slights, insults, disregard, and disrespect?
Do we have to wait to be told or, worse, lectured by anyone to whom the truth is an inconvenience that we are underperforming?
Misrule is not inevitable though we are heavily weighted towards self-destructive behaviors, absent an attitude realignment. Just as how we can be trained or conditioned to mediocrity and underwhelming deliveries, we can be trained and induced to excellence and improve our competence such that we do not have to rely on or retreat to deception or fraud, or worse, consider betrayal a dagger to our hearts.
Instead of resilience, let’s aim for competence and a vision of ourselves that knows no bounds.
Of course, we always knew, “One day, one day,” though we may not have said the rest out loud.
As Excellence beckons and we move in that direction, “One day, one day” becomes “Day one.” It gets better as we are led and repurposed by excellence.
Helllooo Goooodddnesss! Be Fabulous.
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Peter Peterkin, Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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