PRIORITIZE YOUR WELLBEING BEFORE POLITICS & POLITICIANS
Over the last 7 months, I have realized the power of politics as a tool; to unite or divide people. It can be as dangerous as religion and the issue of race at the disposal of an influential mischief maker. This is what is inspiring my article today. Still on the self-love matter, please prioritize your wellbeing and that of your close circle so that elections can come and go, and your relationships stay intact. No form of politics, politician or political divide should pressure us into exhibiting animosity, intolerance, hatred, bitterness, and malice towards other.
In my country Nigeria, we shall be heading to the polls in little over a week. And I can tell you that some relationships have been severed, bridges burnt, friendships ruined and even in some extreme cases, business opportunities withheld or cancelled. This is the ugly side of politics when people are not intentional about how they guide their wellbeing. There are a few things I have done that I would like to share on here.
GUARD YOUR HEART
In the bible, proverbs 4:23 says that we should guard our heart with all diligence because from out of it flows the issues of life. This verse implies that whatever we permit to enter our hearts, if not examined and evaluated properly, will undoubtedly find expression in our lives and our actions be it negative or positive. And we are already seeing it happen right before our eyes. A teacher boldly tweeted that she walked a student out of her class because he/she expressed a different political view/choice. The truth is that no one knows with absolute certainty that they are correct about their choices. This applies to our choice of candidates too. We live in a world of uncertainty where the only thing we can be certain of is uncertainty itself. Guard your heart! For example, I have stayed away from social media commentators stoking up tensions and heating up the polity. I have also paid little or no attention to biased media houses and journalists. Consistent consumption of their content can have a negative impact on my thoughts and behaviour.
IDENTIFY WHAT INFORMS YOUR CHOICE & OWN IT
What informs your choice? When it comes to making decisions, it is not about being right all the time, but about being certain that our decisions are right most of the time. This means making sure to consider all the evidence and consider multiple perspectives before deciding. And we should be willing to adjust our decisions when presented with facts and newer information; not grandstand when we are corrected or try to justify our actions simply because people on the other side did the same. For example, fake news is fake news. We should call it out for what it is. My choice for instance as we head to the polls, is informed by record of accomplishment, relevant experience, and leadership credentials I can see and read about. For others, rhetoric and promises will do. And that is fine. We must all just learn to respect everyone’s choice. It should not be that difficult.
ESTABLISH GUIDING RULES
Rules that you must abide by. I have one that has ensured that politics will not rob me of joy in my home. I never argue about politics with my spouse. We have divergent views as regards the forthcoming elections and conversations can get heated as logic may clash with emotional sentiments. And I have abided by that rule. What rule do you have in place? What rule should you set for yourself? For some, it could be casting restraint on responding to people with opposing views and bullies on social media. If you feel the need to correct any misinformation, do so gracefully. And if you are greeted with insults and ridicule, let that be the sign that you need to enforce your own rules. Walk away.
There is no politician or political party worth dying for or burning bridges for. NONE! They always kiss and make up after elections. If that is the one trait we can imbibe, that would be awesome. Your peace, wellbeing and relationship are paramount. Let us allow peace to reign.
God bless you and our great country Nigeria.