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20.03.2019 Family & Parenting

Don’t Give Out All Your Pizza Slice, Learn To Say No!

By Deborah Asantewaah Sarfo || GIJ Intern
Don’t Give Out All Your Pizza Slice, Learn To Say No!
LISTEN MAR 20, 2019

Growing up in the Christian family as well as a society that doffs its hat to the act of selflessness, I was engrossed in this attitude of giving almost all my time to people in need even when it’s beyond my strength.

It was quite a good feeling to realize that you could be an answer or “last option” to the many problems of all calibre of persons; the old, young, poor, rich, beautiful, handsome, troubled heart, the list is exhaustive. Each day of my life, I appreciated the home I came from yet I had another issue with the same special home I’ve always praised.

Due to my love for selflessness, I went the extra mile and later became what I termed as over selflessness. With this anecdote, I guess it’s time to get the ball rolling.

As social beings who live not on an island but within a well-structured institution called society. We can’t turn a deaf ear or a blind eye to persons who are currently in need or would be in need of our help. For this reason, it is prudent and imperative that we assist our friends, neighbours, families, and enemies when they call on us in times of trouble or “wahala”. Yet in doing all these, we must apply wisdom whenever someone places a request before us. In other words, we must make use of the golden mean, a philosophical principle associated with one of the world’s known philosopher in the person of Aristotle. He noted that “too much of food, as well as too little of food, brings about unhealthy situations”.

Our lives on earth can be likened to the slice of a pizza. Pizza comes in different sizes that are cut into equal sizes called pizza slice. It tastes so good that when you give out one to someone, he or she is likely to request for more and this would eventually end up with you having no slice left for yourself. In all these, the onus lies on us to either say no or still give out all our slides even when it would do us more harm than good.

This is tantamount to the daily happenings in our lives as social beings. Every individual in our lives wants to have a share of the pizza we have in our hands. No one can ever take a slice of pizza from us without our permission. We own our lives hence making us responsible for whatsoever action we take or decision we make.

In this piece, pizza symbolizes our precious time. One out of the few words that are simple to spell yet difficult for some people to say is NO. Often than not, some people find themselves in a “tight corner” when it’s required of them to say no in certain circumstances. It is significant that as humans we always bear in mind of the golden mean of Aristotle. Giving out all our precious time in helping others is never good neither is it appropriate for us to give none of our time to persons in need of our help. We have to do everything in moderation.

The act of having no time for yourself is like driving a car without a break. How can we develop ourselves when we continuously dedicate our time to people without stopping for a moment to think of ourselves? We must be ready to prioritize ourselves over others at some points in our lives.

Often if we are not working and putting our energy into something, we believe we are wasting our time. We may feel taking time for ourselves is a waste and won’t accomplish anything. In the end, persons who have more time for themselves are sometimes wrongly tagged as “antisocial”. I believe you might be wondering why as social beings who ought to socialise must create time for themselves.

As mentioned earlier people would always request more of something you give them and time is not an exception. Having time for yourself gives room for you to identify your voice and who are you. Whenever we find ourselves in the midst of people we consciously and sometimes unconsciously go along with that group because we don’t want to feel odd. This eludes us from identifying our own voice as individuals. Yet we become equip in identifying our voice and ourselves when we create time for ourselves.

Also reserving some time for ourselves improves our level of concentration and productivity. Where concentration is present, productivity is much attained. We do set goals and objectives that we desire to attain yet there are so many distractions around us hence we need to set ourselves apart on some occasions to concentrate on all our goals.

As human beings, we are not meant to be focusing on tasks only. We are also meant to focus on ourselves and reflect on our lives. Moving up and down always eludes us of having a deeper reflection of ourselves. To be in a reflective mood enables us to know how far we have come in terms of our purpose in life. In such moments we develop great ideas that would help us put our dreams into fruition.

Having a moment with ourselves presents our weaknesses to us. No human is without weakness no matter your pedigree in life, we all have weaknesses that we need to face them and work on it. How then can we identify our weaknesses if we regard moments of solitude as unnecessary? Creating time for ourselves helps us to identify our weaknesses and this becomes evident when we are trying to do something while alone and realize the difficulties we have in doing that particular thing. Here, we become conscious and informed of what we can do and what we can’t do.

We will always have pizza with us till eternity but to make use of it effectively is a big question. Sharing our pizza with friends and families isn’t bad at all yet some circumstances or situations demands that we leave the crowd set ourselves apart and create a moment for ourselves only.

We would be able to have this time for ourselves when we learn to say NO to certain requests, friends, family members, neighbours and other things at certain times in our life. Permit me to use the words of my drama director John Paul, “you can’t give out what you don’t have” hence don’t give out all your pizza slides, work on yourself and you will be able to help others when they knock at your door for assistance.

We can’t give out what we don’t have hence it is required of us to make room and develop ourselves at all cost. This would equip us to solve the problem to solve the problems of others.

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