First Gentleman with Wilson Orhiunu
Everyone has faced opposition to what they intended to do at one point in their life. The antagonism from certain quarters expressed by discouraging words and vile disputations are familiar to all would be game changers. There is a price to pay for voicing ambitions. Even hidden plans cannot be concealed forever. As soon as the first tentative steps are taken, people notice and the negative talk starts.
So you have a project and you announce your plans. What next? Well the naysayers have a six pronged attack just to keep you ‘in place’.
They tell you about your past failures, your inadequate preparation or poor education. Naysayer historians are good at reminding you that your CV contains no notable achievements.
“Who do you think you are?” is an effective question for dousing flames of aspiration. It creates self-doubt in the hearer.
“You do not have it in you” is sure zeal killer. There are some endeavours in which a man would never find success at no matter how he tries; that is true. On the other hand until an individual’s capabilities are fully realised few would believe in him. A successful attack on one’s ability can kill a project in its infancy. No one really knows what they are capable of till they aspire to the impossible.
Everybody has his place in life. We pass through various phases in life spending variable amounts of time at each stage. No one really loves being left behind so telling the immovable neighbour that you are on the move invokes their wrath.
If a project will take you to a higher league, those in your present league tell you that you belong with them and accuse you of betrayal for attempting to leave.
Those already in the league you yearn for tell you to “go back to whence you came from” at the earliest opportunity.
People voice ideas of what they were destined to do. Many times there is a disparity between what people know to be their goals in life and their daily actions. At other times, when long term goals and actions are congruent, family and friends may not believe that the destiny announced is anything but a pipe dream. The ‘dreamer’ is usually invited to “wake up and smell the coffee”. The coffee of mediocrity apparently has a strong aroma. Olfactory hallucinations if you ask me!
“It will never work”. “You cannot pull it off” say the prophets of doom who love to exercise their right to freedom of speech. A true dreamer knows that after success has been achieved the prophets of doom will the first at the celebratory party exercising more freedoms; their right to eat, drink and tell everyone that, “we always knew he had it in him”. Prophets of doom are fickle like that. On the way home they will always say privately to fellow prophets, “let’s see how long this lasts. It was a fluke this time”.
The benefits of opposition
It stays silent until people are convinced that the dreamer’s words might come to past. When people do not believe a dreamer, they find his ideas most amusing and promptly forget ‘the joker’; like when the village drunkard announces he plans to climb Everest. However when there is a slight chance of the project or dream being realised, tongues and minds go to work without pay to think up things that the dreamer in his excitement did not bother to factor in. “Where will the money come from?” and “who would look after the kids?” etc, etc. The fact is that naysayers and success don’t go together. If no one opposes you, you are headed nowhere. (PS – I don’t mean opposition to your stealing habits abeg).
These naysayers are so focussed on discrediting the dream that they raise really good points. They might even perform much better than an experienced consultant paid to come in and look through the proposals for the project to fish out flaws. The consultant is not jealous or bitter and so lacks that extra energy that the bitter souls have. A bitter soul would lay awake all night thinking about a friend with a big dream and come morning light will have discovered numerous reasons why it would not be possible.
The dreamer who uses the naysayers as a resource is a wise man. They provide a free consultancy, and if the objective points raised in hostility are studied and remedied, the project becomes fool proof. Of course it is painful to have ‘haters’ rubbish your dreams and the emotions will take a battering. Well, that is what you have close friends for. Tell them about the haters and cry on their shoulders. Next morning, go back to work to solve the problems the haters did you a favour by highlighting.
Surprising initial oppositions
When the idea of the NHS was first introduced by the labour party there was stiff opposition from the Tory party that included that great politician Sir Winston Churchill. The British Medical Association also fought very hard against it till its launch date on the fifth of July 1948. Today the NHS treats all UK citizens and employs 1.7 million people.
Edward Jenner wrote a paper explaining how he inoculated a boy in 1796 (not his son – sharp man!) with cow pox and subsequently injected him with small pox. The boy did not develop small pox disease and he advocated his method of vaccination. (Vaccination is derived from vacca, Latin for cow). The medical establishment of the day were against vaccinations and as were various pressure groups. Today, vaccinations are common place and part of everyday life.
Opposition is good for you (No pain no gain). Dreamers who achieve use opposition to go higher while jokers dream of winning the game of life unopposed and never do.