Ever felt like everyone loves you, appreciates you and is your friend? Well, I used to. But life re-affirmed to me that I still have a lot to learn.
With every passing day, I am realizing that more and more people will hate you with or without reason. Some might be jealous of who you are or what you have. Others will hate you because of the type of person they think you are (regardless of whether they have taken the time to know you personally or not).
In the past, I used to reach out to those that hated me to try and convert them into friends. I would go out of my way, just to ensure that I am on good terms with them. At times, I succeeded but most times my reaching out caused them to resent me even more.
My mother used to discourage me from this habit by telling me, “If you are afraid of being hated, then you will never be loved.” I never used to take heed of her words; she didn’t know what it meant to be hated in this day and age.
If you are hated by your peers then you are not popular. Not being popular translates to being uncool. Being uncool morphs into being a loser, and who wants to hang out with losers?
The fear of not being noticed back then was enough to ensure I tried to please everyone. I wanted people to speak greatly of me or, at the very least, put in a good word for me. Ironically, people paid me no mind as I was working my ass off to ensure my popularity skyrocketed.
One day, as I was going through the Holy Book, I came across a scripture that spoke to my mind, body and soul, “If the world hates you, keep in mind it hated me first.” (John 15:18)
Since I read it, my perception of what people’s opinion had on my life changed.
If Jesus, a man who committed no sin was still hated and despised, regardless of how many sins he forgave and how many miracles he performed, then who was I? A man who sinned daily and at times forgot to atone for his sins.
Nowadays, I don’t go looking for fame and popularity amongst my peers. And yes, a good number of people do not notice me. But I am cool with that.
The number of people I interact with has also dwindled. Truth of the matter is, having a million friends on social media, or a thousand contacts in your mobile phone does not rank you highly among the most loved people in society as you can never tell what is truly in someone’s heart.
Whether my new lifestyle and philosophy will elevate me to greater heights or leave me as I am, I am at peace with it. But one thing is for certain, I will forever celebrate my individuality!