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This month, Grow360 celebrates the power of friendships and relationships. Here’s a tribute sent in by Yemi. Do enjoy it, and after reading, send in yours!
A Tribute to ‘Others’
I find most tributes cliché and one-sided. As soft at heart as I consider myself, I am not a mushy person and can be really bad at sucking up. Tributes to me paint incomplete pictures and overly celebrate the good things in the subject of the tribute. For this reason, the most evil of men are saints in their anniversary pamphlets.
I must admit that I tried to come up with that person, that friend whose praise I would sing. But name after name was accompanied with elements I dislike in the person. So, writing a tribute to a friend would be dishonest and I would not smile when I re-read what I wrote.
What I can write however is a tribute to people in a broad sense, a tribute to human interactions and relationships, a tribute to the warm fact that I don’t stand alone in this world, that joy, pain, confusion, success, failure, hope, love, kindness, are not emotions and concepts exclusive to me. I can write a tribute to the reoccurring event of my needing help and calling this or that person. I can write a tribute to the skills my friends have taught me. I can write a tribute to the people who have cheered me on and those whose criticisms helped me improve. I can write a tribute to the obvious point that there are others.
It is a lovely thing that ‘others’ are around. I have felt love and acceptance from some of you, hostility and rejection from some and apathy from the rest. This way, you have taught me that life is a many-sided coin and to think I will always be accepted is to think wrongly. Likewise, to think I will always be rejected or ignored.
Thus far, you have helped me at different times. You helped me today. Sometimes, your idea of help was to my detriment, other times you had to sacrifice to help me, still at other times you simply did the nice things expected of a human being. I am grateful for all the scenarios.
You have taught me some very helpful things, from computer shortcuts to word pronunciations. You have encouraged my innate skill areas and supported me at my weak points. Yet still, you have mocked me and laughed at me. You have rubbed my shortcomings in my face. To all of this, I raise my glass.
Some knowledge I now have, I appreciate and admire, but others I wish I never had. There are habits I am proud of and other habits I regret. Through it all, acquiring the good and the bad, ‘others’ stood by me. Cheers.
To chats, arguments, fights, hugs, handshakes, knuckles, meetings, seminars, movie nights, group studies, facebook, whatsapp, and the many other platforms from which I interact with ‘others,’ I pay tribute.
Yemi also runs a captivating series titled Searching For Me right here on G360. Read that too right here.
Feeling inspired? Send in a tribute to your friends to firstname.lastname@example.org