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Author Name: Debbie Ogunjobi
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The Foolishness of Threats.
Author: Debbie Ogunjobi | June 01, 2009

I honestly believe the book of Proverbs is a divine manual on how to be a human being. It is not overly pious but when studied it is a refreshing change of pace as it strongly promotes the use of common sense in everyday life. I am particularly fond of the way it describes lack lustre characters as well as the manner in which it celebrates the good ones. I try to read it at least once a year and my close friends will tell you that I become very standoffish and to some extent extremely unfriendly as soon as I do!! I have concluded that over familiarity and over friendliness is outright foolishness and since wisdom is the principal virtue it promotes, I embrace it wholeheartedly!! I have not read it for this year but I was suddenly reminded of it by an incident that was brought to my attention just last night. An acquaintance of mine had called to share some news of some recent happenings and while I felt some sympathy for her predicament, I was extremely irritated by what I believe to be her total lack of wisdom. She had been in a partnership with a most unscrupulous person and in spite of all advice had gone ahead to invest a major chunk of her finances. She had compounded the mistake by deciding to marry this person and had advanced him huge sums of money to help with projects that never seemed to materialise. I personally believe that money and romance should never mix apart from household and other domestic expenses but I was considered very ?cold? when I tried to sound a note of warning. He always seemed to be in one trouble or the other and had to be bailed out by the wife?s family and friends; I remember being approached for financial assistance some time back but I had declined as I never borrow anyone what I can?t give out completely. I have nothing against women who help out their men in hard times but I object to being milked as a cash cow for anyone?s convenience. In my humble opinion marriage or any romantic relationship should be founded on the premise of love and devotion; it should not be a commodity traded back and forth at will for financial gain. She did her best to convince most of us that he really did love her but methinks his love was more for her pocket than any other part. As in similar situations she eventually saw through the Lothario but at what cost? She had endured years of physical, emotional not to mention financial abuse and was now trying to do some damage control. I don?t begrudge the right of anyone to make mistakes as I have made more than my fair share, what I object to is compounding the mistake with outright foolishness. I am blessed with an ability to completely detach my emotions when taking decisions and I always assume that most people should be able to do the same especially when dealing with people who can?t be trusted! I thought the sensible thing to do would be to calmly make a plan that is most favourable and execute promptly using the combined elements of surprise and commonsense. I believe threats are mostly silly as they serve no other purpose than to reveal one?s game plan; surprise is always the best form of attack! Making a grand declaration of intent is asking one?s enemy to be very well prepared and take some steps to checkmate any impending move or tactic. It is weakness and foolishness to be melodramatic and weep when in mid battle; such things are luxuries that can be indulged in when the spoils have all been collected and safely stashed! To borrow a quote form the biblical king Solomon ?A fool uttereth all his mind; but a wise man keepeth it in till after wards? (from the book of Proverbs) One of the most annoying things I hear in traffic is the comment ?na woman?. To me it is an assumption that women lack the mental prowess to operate a car properly. I don?t dispute that some women are terrible drivers but I know some men who are a lot worse! I take exception to being discriminated against or patronised by anyone just because of my gender. The situation is often made worse by a few women who pride themselves on weakness and being over emotional; it is a disservice to the rest of us who want to earn respect the mature and sensible way. I get really exasperated when I see some women who will not make their points sensibly and calmly instead choosing the decoy of tears and other emotional patterns of meltdown to get their way. I have watched women lose ground just because they let themselves get caught up in their emotions. Well as you can imagine the lady in question chose the melodramatic route and alerted her thieving hubby of her intentions with all sorts of threats over a long period of time. Sensing that his gravy train was about to be halted unceremoniously; he put a plan in motion and began to siphon as much of her remaining resources as possible and it was no surprise to me at least when he simply walked out on the union; as soon he had amassed enough. She had given him enough time to hide his tracks and he had transferred many things to his name such that she really did not have a leg to stand on!! He was also wise enough to know that possession was key and was in total control of most things. Threats are as dangerous as they are powerless! A declaration of intent no matter how unserious can be most damaging. I am actually not afraid of threats; for me it is a measure of people?s weakness!! I am more terrified of those people who say nothing and are too slow to explode even when they have every reason to. Threats are often times spoken out of anger and desperation; they come out incoherent and unrealistic almost as if the speaker is looking to gain strength by creating fear! A threat is almost like cheating in an exam; you get a preview of the questions and as such study to pass! By making threats the lady in question lost more than she would have if she had retained a measure of control by just keeping calm. I am not a fan of the husband but one has to grudgingly respect a man who not only acquires properties by fraud but has enough temerity to inform the police of a threat on his life. He, unlike his wife had taken the time to come up with a detailed plan that favoured him. Apparently the threats were made in front of witnesses who could testify on his behalf and as such supported his petition to the police chief, in a master stroke of wicked genius the guilty had become the victim!! I once heard a story of two young students who had a fight and were heard threatening each other on a particular morning. When one of them turned up dead later that same day, you can guess who the main suspect was! Even though the only evidence was circumstantial, he ended up serving a life term in jail till some DNA evidence proved his innocence some 15 years later and this was in England!!! Can you imagine if this was in dear old Naija? He would have been hung or even executed with no questions ever asked. I remember telling the lady in question that she better start praying for the long life and good health of her soon to be ex as any harm to him from any quarters might land her in jail. On recovering her assets, I advised her to apply wisdom and wait a bit; her only hope is that greed might yet be her ex?s undoing as a careful investigation might yet reveal the whereabouts of some valuable documents!! He would have needed her signature for some transfers and hopefully may be discovered if trying to present forgeries!! Simply by not keeping her emotions in check; she had lost ground as she had given her opponent enough warning before attacking! I didn?t have any magic pill but to advise that she be patient as the only way to regain any ground would be to wait and watch; otherwise a fresh start may be just what the doctor ordered!

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WALE ADENIJI    AHMADI, KUWAIT    August 01, 2010
This is so educating. The piece is full of wisdom. I have learnt two or three things there and i think my life will be better of after i have read this piece. Thanks to Ms. Debbie Ogunjobi.
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