Let Your Own Conscience Decide
When you find out someone has been talking negatively about you behind your back, how do you react? Are you angry? Disappointed? Do you lash out in exactly the same way by saying equally bad things, or worse give them a fiver between the eyes?
Sanni has shown me how he – and perhaps this is specific to his character rather than that of his African culture – does not forget the wrong doing but does allow the persons own conscience to decide.
When Sanni and I first began dating someone asked something from him, which he could not provide. This person then took it as an insult and decided to tell anyone in earshot that Sanni was a bad person, that he thought himself too good now he had a white girlfriend, and that he’d forgotten his people. Naturally, in time, this got back to Sanni but rather than confront the person, he let it go.
Some time later, after the matter had time to lie dormant, Sanni and I were at an African bar. Sanni saw this person outside among others as he bought his friend a drink, giving the friend a simple but considerable sign of respect. Upon departure Sanni saw that the man watch him buy his friend a second drink. He then walked my friends & I outside to leave but before we left Sanni decided to return and buy the man two drinks.
Sanni’s actions were not a case of one-up-man-ship but of respect for this person. He may have been talking about Sanni poorly but it was not for Sanni to decide what punishment this person should be dealt. It was for the man to consider if he was right or wrong in his original judgement. The man saw Sanni was still dating me and yet Sanni still paid respect to him. If this man’s opinion had of been justified Sanni would not have done anything but because on this occasion he was able to provide him something, and did so without being asked, it proved that the man’s own conscience had to tell the truth.
We are quick to lower ourselves to the same level of anger and hatred of the person who mistreats us but to maintain an even level of dignity and respect irrespective of the treatment we receive is far harder and much more rewarding.