- Augustine Ohanwe
Have you ever sat or stood in front of a certain person in whose presence you feel less good and less intelligent? He looks at you disdainfully; screws up his face as if drops of bitter lemon were dropped on his tongue. He puts his shoulders high and projects a dignified air as if he, and he alone can advance a conclusion in all matters. As if those body languages are not enough, he decides to translate them into destructive verbal remarks such as : “You can’t accomplish it”, “Your venture is a mission impossible”, “You are not intelligent enough”, etc. He finalises his remarks with a get-out-from-here-type of look.
Even if the person unleashing these negative and destructive suggestions belongs to the top echelon of an institution or expert on this or that field, something is lacking in him or her. He is weak and insecure. There are certain qualities in your personality; certain skills or potentials in you that threaten his well established inflated ego. If you are less good or less intelligent as he wants you to believe, he would have ignored you to wallow in your forest of ignorance instead of putting you down. The negative seeds he is trying hard to plant in your mind can take root, grow, and make a mincemeat of you if you permit. But if, on the other hand, you comprehend the psychological chess he is playing, and you are sure of yourself, you better “demolish” the “construction” he has erected in your image and convert the debris from the psychological stumbling blocks into marvellous stepping stones.
Winston Churchill was treated disdainfully by one of his mathematics teachers, Churchill was told that he was a disaster and was advised to quit school and become a brick layer. Had he permitted his teacher’s remarks to take root in him he would not have been listed as a distinguished Prime Minister Britain ever had. He led Britain through the World War ll. His diplomatic initiatives, administrative acumen and political know-how were brought to bear on the Second World War and he succeeded in establishing his footprints on the sand of time.
One African American’s profile is pathetic. He was a psychology major. His professor attempted to put him down via suggestion – he was advised to leave his chosen field of study and form a Jazz Band. His parents had already inculcated into him the spirit fortitude and self-confidence from his early age, and these precious qualities shielded him from destructive suggestions. After obtaining his Ph.D, the text books he had published had made him a house hold name.
Physicists attempted to dampen the initiative skill of the Wright Brothers. When they embarked on inventing an air plane, those who chose to distract them reminded them about the Law of Gravity and its negative impact on their initiative. They were advised to channel their energies into something else instead of pursuing unachievable goal. Their critics lived to eat their words.
Jesse Owen, the African-American legend was humiliated by Hitler at the 1936 Berlin Olympic games. His presence was a source of irritation to Hitler with regard to the outcome of the game and in order to nib in the bud, the emerging threat, Hitler inaugurated a psychological warfare. By snubbing and humiliating Owen, his calculation was to disorganise his mental equilibrium, lower his morale as to induce a poor performance. But Owen knew the secret of transmutation. That is, he knew how to change base metals into gold. This he demonstrated by absorbing the humiliation and transforming it into extra-energy, and directed it to his leg muscles. Then came the ritual of : “on your marks, set, go” Owen made an impressive display of talent blended with style. He returned to the USA with five gold medals. His imposing monument stands like a colossus in Ohio State as a gesture for his contribution to his country. Owen refused to be put down.
Albert Einstein was not spared. One Thomas Jefferson Jackson See, a mathematician, Doctor of Philosophy, astronomer and biographer ridiculed Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, stating that Einstein’s Theory “has set Physics and astronomy back 1000 years”! His anti-Einstein statement was made with jaundiced eye. Einstein knew this very well and was not moved or separated from his pipe.
Christopher Columbus was teased and laughed at when he presented his voyage plan to Spain’s geography experts. They looked at him directly in the eyes and branded his initiative a “mission impossible”. His boiling zeal was not dampened one bit.
All the people mentioned above have shrugged off the wet blanket thrown at them and refused to be put down. What about you?
Have you found yourself in a situation where he or she wants to put you down like those mentioned above? Did you use your fist to deliver a blow to the person who attempted to put you down or complain too much like Iago in Othello? Did you accept the image he made of you by quitting your institution, your trade or did you neutralise his remarks as the persons mentioned above did.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Augustine C. Ohanwe writes from England. He is a
Nigerian. Augustine is a researcher, and holds a PhD in international
politics. He is also a poet whose numerous poems could be seen at www.Poemsofsoul.com
under FEATURE POETS