You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for his own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful. “Marie Curie”
Stop promoting enmity! One mistake you should never make is to allow yourself to be, recruited by someone, to hate another person who hasn’t wronged you. Hear this: “ We must avoid taking hasty conclusion because of what others are saying about someone else”. What people say about others, says a lot about them. I am repeating this more directly: The things you say about others, says a lot about you! I can tell a lot about a person by what they choose to see in others.
Character assassination is a pervasive and destructive phenomenon that is found everywhere. You find it in families, churches, organizations, work places, etc. Wikipedia defined it as the deliberate, malicious, unjustified and sustained effort to damage the reputation or credibility of an individual. The Merriam-Webster defined it as the slandering of a person usually with the intention of destroying public confidence in that person. Athi Murugan defined “Character Assassination” as the act of lowering one’s character in a bid to ruin the character of others.
There are people that take maximum delight in ruining others reputation. These set of people have what I will like to call ‘Destructive Tendencies’. They oil their own ego by pulling other people down. False allegations are the most chronic form of mental abuse. When people can’t kill your dreams and purpose, they will try to assassinate your character.
There are some people that your spirit will always irritate their demons! Once they realize hating isn’t working they start telling and spreading lies about you. People are assassinated once but ‘Character Assassination’ kills daily! Character assassination is a form of emotional violence against others. Someone once said, “A friend of my enemy is my enemy.” One of the things that hinder us from living a fulfilling and inclusive life is bringing past bias and sentiments into present relationships. A friend of your enemy is not necessarily your enemy; it all depends on intentions and contributions. God can use your enemy’s friend to bless you!
There are seven critical ‘DON’Ts’ that you really need to guard yourself against. Refusing to getting trapped in them will help you live a more productive, fulfilling and unbiased life. They are:
• Don’t conclude about people because of what others say about them: Never draw up conclusions based on what others tell you about someone. It is a lack of social intelligence that makes people draw conclusions on others based on what other people say about them. I know you’ve heard about emotional and financial intelligence, but there is something called social intelligence. This is the kind of intelligence that keeps you sane even when others are trying to pollute your mind against someone else until you have thoroughly confirmed the veracity of the claims before you. Judges are trained to have this kind of intelligence in order to avoid biased judgments.
• Don’t inherit other people’s enemy: It is total lack of education and enlightenment when you automatically make your friend’s enemies your own. Don’t make people your enemies just because they are not in good terms with your friends.
• Don’t use your children as weapons of war: God can use your enemies to bless your children! The Bible says that your children are for signs and wonders. Stop using them to fight those you don’t like. Your children will need to discern their enemies for themselves; never use your parental influence to make your children hate others. You may often need to guard them with their choice of friends but never plant the seed of discord in the heart of your children against someone else.
• Don’t gang up with others to hate someone: Don’t join the majority to hate someone – you may realize that the person has no offence. Someone said, “If you don’t see it with your own eyes, or hear it with your own ears. Don’t invent it with your small mind and share it with your big mouth”. Never join the multitude to hate someone else.
• Don’t be used as weapon in other people’s battle: It is not every battle that you must involve yourself in. Refuse to be used as weapons in other people’s battle. When people fight dirty, refuse to take sides. Observe deeply before concluding finally.
• Don’t hate people just because they don’t behave like you: That someone is not your tribe doesn’t make them your enemy. (instead, it will be called races) It is a waste of education if the only people you like are those that are like you. The greatest proof of our education is in how we respond to people whose opinions are different from ours. People who think their opinions are superior to others are most prone to overestimating their relevant knowledge and ignoring chances to learn more. The people who don’t think like you are your greatest source of enlightenment. It is normally people that are not like us that help us grow the most. Companies that had maximized growth are really those that value diversity and inclusion.
• Don’t judge people until you know the whole story: Someone once said, “Beware of the half-truth. You may have gotten hold of the wrong half”. Don’t judge other people’s choices without understanding their reasons. If people say something bad about you or judge you as if they know you, don’t easily get affected. Remember this; dogs bark if they don’t know the person. People who are intimidated by you talk about you with hopes that others won’t find you so appealing. Stay away from people who talk bad about others daily; these kinds of people carry a negative spirit, and a negative spirit is contagious. The real problem is not that they are unhappy about others, but they are unhappy with themselves.
Stop the destructive habit of talking about people behind their back. Talking badly about someone else while they aren’t there to defend themselves says more about you than the person you’re talking about. When you have issues with people, try and discuss it with them. Stop discussing it with others. Someone once said, “Don’t talk about me until you have talked to me”. Stop spreading false information and rumours about others. Rumours are carried by haters, spread by fools and accepted by idiots! Stop creating walls of contention; rather help build bridges of understanding among people.
Above all, what don’t work for others may work for you and what do work for you may work for other!