Feature Article of Sunday, 19 August 2012
Columnist: Arthur, Beckham Godfred
He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap –Ecclesiastes 11:4 (ESV).
I remember a story told of a man who was travelling with his goods and a donkey as his vehicle. He loaded the goods on the donkey while trekking along with it. On his way, he met another traveller who looked at him with acrimony and said to him, “How can you be so stupid to be walking on foot while your goods rather sit on the back of the donkey?” He then changed position. He sat on the donkey in addition to the goods on its back. As he went further, he met another man who could not just stand the sight of what he had seen the man done but had to rebuked him by saying, “Why have you chosen to overload the donkey? Don’t you perceive you could hurt it?” The traveller seemed to also notice some sense again from what he was being told, so quickly, he changed his mind again. So he decided to rather have the goods in his hands while maintains himself on the donkey’s back. He was met with another criticism suggesting that he keeps the goods on the back of the donkey and walk. Thus, whatever you do, people will always have something to say about it. If you sleep too often, somebody will see a trouble out of it to talk. If you are hardworking, somebody will talk about it. The fact is that, if no one talks about what you do at all, then you probably may be engaged in the wrong thing.
Certainly, no one has any way to escape the voice of critics. Good cum bad people are victimised by the voice. Entrepreneurs suffer from this voice just as pastors do. Teachers, students, lawyers and politicians alike are not spared by that voice. Even presidents are not immune to this voice. Everyone someway somehow is indicted by the voice of critics. It can be a voice that comes from an envious, treacherous, hypocritical, mediocre and ungrateful heart. It is a voice that backbites and stabs one in the back. It is a voice that can blur and cloud your way. Sometimes, it comes quietly and intrinsically. The financial intelligence teacher Robert T. Kiyosaki concluded that, “There is nobody in your way except you and your doubts.” It is a voice that can confuse our path or course of action. A voice that always sees the errors in what we do. It can be very distractive to us.
The voice of critics is also our third eye that proofreads our actions and attempts to straighten our paths as entrepreneurs, politicians, lawyers, corporate executives, architects, pastors, students and so on. They humbly point out our short comings and weaknesses which we may be obstructed from. It is the voice that can look at us right into the face and tell us what we deserve to be told without prejudice. They can be constructive. Such criticisms put us on our toes. Mr. Charles W. Akenten, a lecturer at the University of Ghana, psychology department use to say, “Sometimes you need someone to even talk about the good things you do as a way of endorsement to spur you on”.
It is however lethal to heed to distractive voices. It normally causes nothing but a shift from one’s focus and purpose. Once you pay heed to it, you begin to judge any good thing you do from a negative conscience. This tends to stifles your advancement and development. Because of distractive voices, many ingenuity could not see the light of day. Huge business ideas and auspicious inventions have been quenched just because it custodians paid so much attention observing the intensity of the wind (distractive voices). Many Christians also regard how clumsy the clouds are and as such unable to reap when in fact it was their due. It goes without saying that you will do no better than to languish at the foot of the success ladder if were attentive to the distractive voices. Lower them to be on the safer side.
People who esteem constructive voices see steady progress in their endeavours. Such people obviously have their pursuits well shaped and well garnished to meet their ultimate feats. This is because, such a voice does not just pick up on you, but have your welfare at heart and want to contribute to your advancement. It only seeks to straighten the paths that are crooked behind you. It shares a part of your success story.
Unfortunately, many people fall for distractive voices more than they actually do for constructive ones for a reason of indecision. In the preliminary story above, the traveller was indecisive from the onset of his journey and so was gullible to ideas. He could not tell for himself which idea, suggestion or reproof was better for him and which one was not. Certainly, “If you stand for anything, you fall for anything”. People who are well decisive on their pursuits are strongly minded. That is though attempted frustration may come from distractive voices; such people always have their mind’s eye blinded against them. William B. Gate puts it best when he said, “A little blindness is necessary when you undertake risk”. Strong minded people are those who can say No and they actually mean it and say YES when they indeed mean it. They go for what they want upon wise counsel. They do not stand for anything just like the desperate traveller did. It is worth pointing out that no matter how strong minded you think you are, you still need to be teachable. Anybody with teachable heart adores constructive voices, but lowers distractive ones. Dream, dare, do, and deliver.
Arthur Beckham Godfred
Co-Author of 37 Benefits of Reading.
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