Human beings live in societies. They crave for societal belongingness and this is inherent in human nature. It does not matter whether people are introverts or extroverts. As such, regardless of our social statuses, we need people in our lives whether or not we know these people. You may be very rich or very poor or just an average person but you need people on your life journey. These people may not be your friends, lovers or family members but you still need them. From cradle to grave, you need other persons. Have you ever paused to think about this reality of life?
Any time a business idea occurs to you, you momentarily focus on how you will go about it and make money. Apart from marketing experts who think about the target market, most entrepreneurs tend to lose sight of the people aspect of business. The success of your business depends on people. These people may be your employees, advisors or customers. The way you treat them and the way they treat you is a determinant of your business success or failure. You did not know that customer before setting up the business but you set it up thinking he or she would patronize your products or wares. The product will satisfy his or her needs and then you will make your money. You need each other. Without that customer, your business will not flourish. Without your product, he or she will also not have that satisfaction your product offers.
Even in competition, you need people. Have you thought of how boring life will be if others are not there to compete with you? Any time you become first in a race or the winner in an election, remember that but for the people you competed with or contested, you would not be declared the winner. You even need another person to declare you the winner in that competition.
How about places of worship? It is virtually impossible to worship all alone all the time. You have dressed up and entered the temple, mosque, church, shrine or that sacred place of worship and you have seen no clergy or priest nor other worshippers. You are there all alone all the time. Will you go there again? However, you take others for granted in the church anytime the church building is full to capacity. There are ushers who guide worshipers to the pews or seats.
Some worshippers are rude to those ushers sometimes and will not take their simplest of instructions. You feel bigger than the ushers in status and your ego makes you look down on them. However, here you are in the church and you cannot find even the ushers to talk to. How would you feel this time?
You want to be a politician. You need people to vote for you. You do not know all of them personally but you need their votes. You went on campaign trails and deceived them with sweet but empty campaign promises just to win their votes. They clamoured for you. They even waited for you in odd hours just to listen to your deceptive campaign messages. They voted for you and after you have won, you forgot that they existed and still exist. Election time has come again and you now remember their existence. You do not know them but they matter for you persistent political ambitions. They can make you succeed or fail per their voting decisions. People matter indeed.
How boring will going to school and studying all alone be? You need that teacher or lecturer and you need those other people we call classmates. You may not know them before starting school but you yearned to meet them. They later became a kind of family. They gave you academic competition and at the same time cared for you. Some may last in your life until death. Some of these classmates even care about you more than some of your family members do. These people also matter in your life. Some may even lead you to your success while others may lead you to failure. Some may lead you closer to God. You need some lessons from all of them.
It was the great Indian Philosopher, Strategist, Economists and Teacher by name Acharya Chanakya popularly known as Vishnu Gupta or Kautilya who said, “Learn from the mistakes of others, you can’t live long enough to make them all yourself”. So you see? If those people Chanakya referred to as others, do not exist to make the mistakes, how would you learn from them? Eschew pride, be humble and interact with others as if you are nobody. It does not matter your social status or title. Have you paused and thought about this? Unless you are bedridden, you will, by all means, clean yourself after visiting the toilet. Your status won’t make you let others clean you after easing yourself once you are not sick. That should teach you some humility lessons. The reverse also holds true. Whenever you are bedridden due to sickness or disability or any impairment of a sort, you will need people to help you. Imagine you are totally blind and you have nobody around you. So you see? People matter whether or not you know them.
Have you travelled a lonely road before and at a point you just wished you would be meeting people who are apparently harmless on the way? Even in this technological age that boasts of Google drive and other applications, you still need people to give you some geographical directions and you need them to even lead you to that person you did not know in person but you are looking for.
Oh, have you forgotten that you became a Professor because you conducted several researches and there were participants in those studies who made you the Professor? Now you lord the professorship over society. In your study to become a medical doctor, you dissected dead bodies. They were bodies you needed to learn with to get to your aspirations as a physician and to save other lives anyway. But you see that even in death people matter?
Hey, what if you wake up one day and you are the only one left in your community? Everybody is gone elsewhere. You cannot find anyone around you again. Your favourite wakye seller is missing. No wife, no husband, no child, no neighbour is insight. As a social being, is such a life worth living? The answer is obviously not in the affirmative. This is why you must value people even if you do not know them or you do not like them.
Indeed, whether you know them or not, people matter. Learn to be nice to people. Suppress your ego and eschew being bossy at work. Regardless of your position in the organization, your good looks, your intelligence, your race, your tribe, your fame, your religion, your colour and other factors to your advantage, other people matter in your life. Even the Pope and the President of the US (POTUS) need people around them.
Even Our Almighty Lord Jesus Christ when He came to planet earth needed people to help Him on His journey. He chose disciples and apart from these disciples, there were Marys, Marthas, Veronicas and many others who helped Him. On the way of the Cross, Jesus was even helped by Simon of Cyrene. The life of Jesus on earth teaches us that other people matter. He even said love your neighbour as yourself. Indeed, people matter. Again, it was Acharya Chanakya who said, “ A man is great by his activities only, birth has nothing to do with it.” You did not become you today only by birth. Your actions and other people made you.
~Asante Sana ~
Author: Philip Afeti Korto
Email: [email protected]