Life can fly by so fast, just yesterday you’re running to school with your lunch box and school bag in your hand so you don’t get late for assembly as there is a teacher assigned to ensure you regret it, Now you’re running to the airport with your luggage in your hand as, just like the teacher, there’s an airport official that breaks it to you that you’ve missed the flight.

Yesterday, your biggest worry was passing the Mathematics paper in WAEC. Today, it’s the professional certification that mentors have said is renowned for being difficult.

If you live long enough, you’ll meet those people you called friends in yesteryears; When your hot topics were the new handsome/ beautiful boy or girl who entered the class as a transfer student or for the more serious ones; how the differential of Sinx is Cosx, Or cramming the moral lessons of the classic Literature-in-English texts, like “Chimamanda’s Purple Hibiscus” or “Buchi Emecheta’s Joys of Motherhood”, now on TV, radio, LinkedIn or the usual social media platforms as professionals either in the business space or Career people at various rungs of the corporate ladder, radio or newspaper making meaning of their lives.

For various reasons, either in referring someone to them or just stroking your ego in a conversation, there’s the urge to tell whoever cares to listen that you knew them at their very humble beginnings.

This can be so Nostalgic, it can bring tears to one’s eyes. In such moments there is the temptation to narrate stories of your shared memories with them. I’ve realised in such moments some of us make a colossal blunder, for some reason, of calling to remembrance unsavoury moments, the ones that would, more often than not, make people laugh at another interesting view of their favourite OAP, Movie Star, or just about any former Colleague who is the subject of such discourse.

One memory comes to mind very quickly on this subject, I bumped into a picture of a public figure with whom I happen to share an Alma matter sometime ago and for some reason, it was rumoured that not only was the person not as attractive now as the person used to be then, (Isn’t that that the case with all of us?😏) but that the person used to answer the ‘lesser’ of nature’s call while sleeping at night on the mattress.

In retrospect, I can only imagine who started such ‘gist’ that had gone viral till I got to hear it, about a decade after, I have no idea if it is still being passed down to current students of the school.
I could go on and on with stories of people belittling or playing down on what people have made of their lives just to make themselves measure up in some kind of way.

In those moments where we have to share memories of others, we should keep in mind that we have two options; to share our history in such a way that belittles the subject or the other, more desirable, option to selectively share these memories in a way that makes people further appreciate the subject; juxtaposing what they have made of their lives with where they are coming from

Even when we’ve not been in contact with the person, if not for anything for the fact that you would one day be the subject of a similar conversation and you’ll prefer to be remembered with pleasant memories than the ones you are not proud of.

I hope this helps your friendships

17 thoughts on “Belittling

  1. God bless you. Let’s keep the person’s weakness in our hearts n speak of. What the person has by God’s grace made of them selves. The good part. 🙏

  2. So true! For some weird reason, we try to make ourselves look better than them even when in reality they are doing way better than us.

  3. Hmm….something to be cautious about ‘cos some times this gist just pops out and we tend to just go on and on with it, nevertheless we can do better 🙂

  4. A very beautiful read, and one many of us can relate with. The more secure we are in ourselves, the less we seek the disrepute of others.
    Thank you for this beautiful piece, Mr. Jacque

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