Can people vouch for you?
Guys, so something recently happened to me and it had me thinking that this world is too small. This universe is too small to mess up and portray yourself in the worst way possible. This world is way too small to act out and think it won't come back to bite you in the butt.
This world is too connected. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it yet, but I went to Nigeria for law school and then for this programme called NYSC. National Youth Service is basically a programme where you work for the country for a year for "free". You're paid stipends, but it's compulsory for all Nigerian citizens. Anyways, I'm a lawyer so I wanted to be sure that I was placed in a law firm so I could improve my CV and increase my employability.
My dad's cousin was able to get me an interview with a law firm and thankfully, by the grace of God, I was given the job. I'd worked for about 7 months before I found out that my bosses were super close to family friends of mine. Like they'd lived with my family friends before. I was so shocked and it had me thinking that imagine if I'd been lazy, disrespectful, deceitful etc, they would spread that out to a family that I didn't think there was a remote connection to.
Guys, I had so many chances to act out in that job. It was a really hard year for me and I was struggling with my quality of life at the time. My salary basically only covered my transportation to the job and back home. I didn't want to ask my parents for money and I was waking up at 4:15 in the morning so I could leave the house at 4:45am so I'd miss the 3 hour traffic. Please believe me when I say that I know that I'm privileged, God has been so good to me, but that year was hard on me.
So in the midst of the struggles I could've lied, made up excuses not to go to work, I could have totally ignored the work given to me because the salary was so low and I knew I was worth more than that. I mean I knew that I was going to be returning to UK, so I could have just been reckless. Except, I don't know how to do those things and I thank God for that. I don't have it in me to lie, I don't have it in me to be disrespectful.
I didn't behave myself because I thought someone could ask, or because I thought my actions would be revealed to others etc. But I realised afterwards that your actions now, can affect your future. It could either help you or destroy your prospects. The job I'm currently working at asked for reference from the place I worked in Nigeria and I wasn't afraid to provide the information because I know that I presented myself well.
I know people that act a certain way in church and a totally different way outside of church. People that smile at others, but spit venom at them when they're not close by. You know what, I can't trust people like that and when it comes down to it, if I were to be asked to vouch for them I wouldn't be able to. I wouldn't want to give them access to certain things or stand for them because I know what they're like.
Are you the same character in all your circles?
So my question is can people vouch for you? How do you act in all your different circles? What do you say to different people? Do you think your attitude or character will help promote you or pull you down?
If different people from different places were asked, would they all be able to vouch for your character and integrity? Is there anyone, or any group that you wouldn't want to intermingle with because of your behaviour around them or the things you've said?
Can an ex-friend meet a current friend and would they be able to say the same thing? Can your future sponsor meet your current or past employer without you trembling and worrying that you've lost out? Can your future spouse meet your current friends or your co-workers with no risk of hurt or disappointment?
Are you your best self? How quick are you to throw hurtful words? How quick are you to lose your integrity? How quick are you to turn your back on people? Are you proud of your actions?
I think these are things that we need to ask ourselves. I can boldly say that there is no one that I've ever met that I'd be afraid to allow to mingle with people I value. I know that I have nothing to fear on that front because I hold myself to a natural standard by the grace of God.
Have you guys ever seen one of those skits where a lady meets an older woman on the road and they come to a disagreement and instead of being respectful and kind,, the young lady insults the old woman and basically disrespects her. Fast-forward to a day later, the young lady goes to meet her boyfriend's parents and the mother of her man is the woman she maltreated the day before.
Now I get that it's just a skit, but you know what? It happens! This is how small the world is, everyone is interlinked in someway and some form. Your actions now can affect a future promotion. Your reckless words or cold response can alter a future lifting up. Now I'm not saying act right because it could affect you in the future (it can and you should). I'm saying act right because it's the right thing to do.
It creates internal peace within you because you know that you've represented yourself well. It means that you can stand before accusers and know that you've done nothing wrong. Believe me, there will come a point in your life where people will accuse you of things, either because they misunderstood the situation or because they don't wish you well. In the face of such, what holds you up (aside from God), is the knowledge that you can boldly say that you did nothing wrong.
Funnily enough, in the midst of all of that, the people who have seen you act right will vouch for you. You won't need to fight that battle yourself because people will know the truth.
What happens if I'm not sure?
So I ask again, can people vouch for you?
If the answer is no, then it's time to change. It's time to try a different approach. The wonderful thing about life is that it's never too late to change and improve yourself. The more you change, the more people see the difference. You don't even have to tell people that you've changed, they'll see it in your actions and in your words. Some people don't realise that when they're pretending, their real character shows in the cracks.
I don't believe in faking my character or being someone else, but I believe in improving myself, and it starts with the little things. If you naturally gossip about people, the next time you're about to speak negatively about someone, just decide to keep quiet, keep it in. The more you do it, the more it becomes natural to you. If you know that you lie, the next time you're about to lie switch it up and tell the truth. It may not be easy, but in the long run, you'll end up happier.
But as I mentioned already, another benefit of being a better you everywhere is the fact that people will be willing to vouch for you. You'll find that people will stand for you. I remember that there was a day in boarding school that my classmates had been talking about an old friend of mine and I defended her. This resulted in people insulting me, and being me, I started crying lol. Anyways, within a few minutes, different people came from different classes to defend me. They literally left their classrooms to come to my defence because they knew me. My character stood for me that day, I was supported from the likeliest and the unlikeliest of places.
Let's be honest, who wouldn't feel loved in such a situation? Who wouldn't feel happy that they were found worthy of defence from people? My point is, let your character stand for you everywhere you go. Let people see who you are and know that you're the same everywhere. I'm not talking about whether you're an extrovert in one place and introvert somewhere else. Nah, I'm talking about your character, the things that make you, you. The kindness, the integrity etc.
Give yourself a chance in this world by being the best you everywhere.
Once again, I love you and God loves you.
Please feel free to comment in the comment section if you have something to say.