I have a red corduroy blazer that I wear a lot. So, today I wore it again– to a beauty pageant.
An intern from my office saw me and went, “He’s always wearing this jacket.”
I learnt two things from that comment.
One: choices have consequences. I made a choice to be a minimalist. In a country like Nigeria where I’m expected to exhibit my “success” through big clothes, I should know it’s possible some will look down on me. It’s possible I’ll be disrespected, too. But here’s where lessons in stoicism serve me: imagine I can’t afford another jacket, how would I feel about the disrespect? Now I know. And I’m prepared.
Two: sometimes words hit harder than intended. The intern didn’t know I would hear her. When she realised I’d heard, she said she was sorry and I saw she truly was. It was only an innocuous observation. But what if she never found out I’d heard? What she never got the chance to break it down to me? What if the words hit too hard and I did something to myself because of them? What if I let them make me do things to other people? She never would have known. She was only making a comment, which she never intended to hurt me with.
Joy comes from the inside.
I don’t care what you think about my red coat. It fits nicely. It goes with many things. And I love it. I’m not about to start collecting jackets so I won’t always be wearing “this red jacket”.
You ain’t shit. It’s not your jacket. Go away.