"Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”— Matthew 7:12 [NKJV]
It is a dangerous place to be if you see nothing good in the deeds of those who have gone ahead of you. It is a dangerous thing to do if you go about repeatedly punching holes in the reputation and hard work of others. It is a dangerous company to be in if those around you are only interested in seeing others fail so they can look successful.
There are a lot of interesting commonalities our style of politics share with our life in general. It is amazing to note how our leaders, for instance, do worse than those they criticized (when they were out of office) when they have the opportunity to be in their shoes. In the same vein, many of us criticize people but when given the opportunity to take their place, we do worse.
Another attribute our politics has in common with us is badmouthing others just to be where they are— demonizing people to have what they have. We have assumed that the easiest way to be loved in politics is to create opportunities for our opponents to be hated.
Some of us are unfortunately living our lives like politicians, doing all within our power to pull others down so we take their place. In the office, we make our superiors look evil so we can be loved. In church, we badmouth our leaders so others perceive we could have done better if we had such an opportunity. I call it the Lucifer strategy.
It always seems smart when one is able to oust others from their positions by ganging others up against them. For the start, one looks like a genius when they are able to take the place of their mentors by actually stabbing them in back in the dark. In the end, however, they notice their folly— those who helped them malign their mentors only help others malign them, too.
When I see young pastors demonize already established ones, I nod my head and watch how the story ends. I keenly observe young politicians when they drag the names people who could be as old as their parents in the mud. One considers it some sort of ingenuity when they are able to gain some good following when they paint as evil those who have gone ahead of them. In such cases, it is obvious they want to wear their shoes. It is clear they want to be in their place. And when they get there… another will do to them as they did to others.
When you recruit people to pull down those above you, don’t forget those you recruited will still be in business when you reach the top. Today, when you make destroying other people’s business your business, another will make destroying your business their business tomorrow. As we want done unto us, so should we do unto others.
Life is like a coup. Those you pull others down with will plot with others to pull you down. Be careful, thus, what you wish for others. You inadvertently wish same for yourself. Those you set up others with will set you up with the help of others. Like a cycle, what you do to those above you today, another below you will do same tomorrow. If you go about destroying others, you are only preparing yourself for your day of destruction.
The easiest way to destroy yourself is to try to destroy others because of jealousy. Preparing a table of dishonor for others means preparing a table of dishonor for yourself because the same hand of the clock that is up at one moment comes down the next moment. The same people who help you plot evil for others will be busy plotting yours next time.
When you see people who are better than you are, admire them and work harder on yourself to, at least, be as good as they are or even better. Don’t envy them. When you desire to fill the shoes of your mentors, work hard and wait for your turn to be ushered through the corridors of greatness. Don’t force your mentors out of their seats by demonizing their efforts.
Live your life beyond your desires. At all cost, make sure you don’t shortchange others to reach your goals. Life is not politics. Being at the top is not a do-or-die affair. Wait for your turn while you can. While waiting, be certain you are not coveting who another man is or what they have. Maximize your potentials and be the best you can.
You don’t need to dim other people’s light to make yours shine brighter. Cheer others on. Congratulate them when they win. When you win someday, another will also congratulate you. Instead of spending sleepless nights plotting how to destroy others, spend those nights planning how better you could be than others. Instead of gathering sympathizers to destroy others, gather them to support your good cause. Those who help you destroy others will help others destroy you!
Instead of going the extra mile to pull people down, invest the time into building your capacity to reach their level. The energy you expend puling others down could be used to climb life’s ladder an inch more. When you try to pull someone down today, another will pull you down tomorrow. What you sow, you reap. Those who help you destroy others are loyal to none. They will equally help others destroy you!
What you did unto men yesterday, others will do unto you today. What you do unto others today, so shall it be done unto you tomorrow. Before you speak, assume you are the one it was being spoken about. How does it sound? Before you act, ponder for a while. If it is not right for you if you were to be in their shoes, it is not right for them either!
Kobina Ansah is a Ghanaian playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications ( www.scribecommltd.com ), an Accra-based writing firm.