Kodwo Baidoo’s writes: Hi Monday Epistles, Season 2, Episode 10. Positive Conviction-A Principle or Circumstantial.
Growing up out of Ewim Kotokuraba was occasioned with a lot of incidents capable of forming strong beliefs and or opinions about one’s outlook on life. It was a quasi hard knock life situation where you sometimes have to exert yourself in order to stay afloat. As a dynamic and agile growing kid on the block, I got into few troubles. One that still stands out fresh on my mind is when I beat a classmate because she was playing along to the teasing that she was my girlfriend.
When her mother brought Linda Brown(May her soul Rest In Peace) to my house, I wasn’t really bothered because I could imagine the outcome, especially it not being the first time. But I was wrong afterall, because my father gave me the beating of my life. I was the most shocked at that time because there had been far worse fighting incidents between myself and some other boys in the hood which my father defended me at various levels and fronts. Out of curiosity and prolonged shock, I asked my father for his reason for the difference in decision to spare me at those other times and punished me at that other moment.
His response largely influenced my conviction on how to treat people I come into contact with, more especially the female gender. To him, he punished me for raising my hand to a girl I was supposed to protect. He told me to make sure that my convictions to do right, to love, to care, and to be fair, should be a matter of principle and not circumstantial.
Conviction is an incredibly valuable yet increasingly rare trait in humans. It’s in short supply because our brains are wired to overreact to uncertainty with fear.
As a teacher, my line of job exposes me to many different children and parents. A child puts her own interpretations to something a teacher has said, puts a spin on the out of context issue and report to her parents amidst crying. As uncertainty increases, the parent’s great sense of judgement suffers and is now controlled by anxiety and panic. They usually give you attitude and faces or at worst walk up to report you to your employers. I have witnessed most of these parents come back to apologize later after their children have retold the stories without the initial mischief and dishonesty.
Great relationships require Conviction-conviction to respect each other, to stay fair at all times, to honour the other person, to be right and do right. Uncertainty takes up a lot of people’s mental energy and makes them lose themselves to their circumstances. Because of this involuntary reaction, it is important to grow your belief in what is good for others and an other.
People with conviction create an environment of certainty for everyone. They’re strong (not harsh). They make difficult decisions and watch over the good of others. They stay the course when things get tough. Children are far more likely to show strength themselves when their parents do the same. However care must be taken to not mistake domineering, controlling, and otherwise harsh behavior for strength.
People with conviction know when to trust their guts. Since most of us don’t face life-or-death decisions every day, we have to learn how to use this instinct to our benefit. Often we make the mistake of talking ourselves out of listening to our gut instinct, or we go too far in the other direction and impulsively dive into a situation, mistaking our assumptions for instincts.
Lastly, when you have conviction you recognize your own filters. You are able to identify when you are being overly influenced by an artificial status you feel belonging to, or by the presence of a colleague, or by an old assumption and emotions of yours or by another person’s opinion. Your ability to filter out the feelings that aren’t coming from your intuition helps you focus on what is-your relationship, your career, your family, your personal development. You don’t spew words to regret later or you don’t behave in a manner that makes it difficult for you to surrender.
I hope all the episodes in Season 2, especially this very one, will cause you to stay relentlessly positive, see a brighter future with crystal clarity, and have the energy and enthusiasm to ensure that everyone else can see it too. Let your belief in the good be contagious.