What Determines Who We Fight For?

For the past couple of months I’ve been asking myself a question- what determines who we fight for? I’ve reflected and reflected and reflected some more. Last week, on my flight home, I came across a very interesting revelation about character that links well with the above question.

We form friendships and relationships with people based on their character- interests, behaviours and traits. We love who they are when they are with us. And as a result we begin to expect based on character. There’s reliability and consistency in being able to have that expectation of the people who are close to us.

But as humans are fallible, there are times when people fall short of those expectations. Many times we’ll compare a mistake that’s been made to what we expect of the character and if the two are not a match, we drop the friendship real quick.

As I was reading ‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell on my flight home, I realized that we often forget the role of context in influencing the character of a person. He explains so eloquently, “It is much easier to define people just in terms of their personality. If we constantly had to qualify every assessment of those around us, how much harder would it be to make the thousands of decisions we are required to make about whether we like someone or love someone or trust someone?”. It’s just much easier to categorize people as either bad or good. No in-betweens, no understanding.  

As humans we ought to understand that others too are human- complex, delicate and powerful beings influenced by anything and everything. People are not absolute. Your closest will do things that will hurt you and your perceived enemies may pick up battles on your behalf. For this reason, be open to forgive when wronged and be quick to remorse when wrong.

As I’ve grown and developed over the past couple of years, it’s become clear to me that choosing who you fight for is about a deep understanding of yourself- your needs, your wants, your boundaries and the other person(s) needs, wants and boundaries. And this requires stepping out of situations and always looking at the broader picture- who is this person outside this situation?

I will leave you with this excerpt from the book,

Character, then, isn’t what we think it is or, rather what we want it to be. It isn’t a stable, easily identifiable set of closely related traits. Character is more like a bundle of habits and tendencies and interests, loosely bound together and dependent, at certain times, on circumstances and context. The reason that most of us seem to have a consistent character is that most of us are really good at controlling our environment

 

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© Tessy Maritim

#faves: Bible Verses

I got my first and only bible when I was about 14. It was a gift from my auntie. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it- was I supposed to read it like a story? I couldn’t quite figure it out but wanted to make an effort to read because I wanted to strengthen my knowledge and understanding of God.

To this day, I haven’t read the bible cover-to-cover. Many of the verses I know and love come from church service. I’m also really fond of the ‘Bible App’ (available on both iOS and Android) which I downloaded about a year ago. It notifies you of a daily verse, allows you to highlight your favourite verses and enables you to connect with your friends on it and see what they highlight. It’s a really cool way to grow your knowledge of the bible.

So courtesy of the bible app, here are 10 of my favourite verses.

 

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I love this verse because it’s a reminder that He’s got a plan for each and every one of us- and it is a perfect plan. No mistakes.

 

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A couple of Sundays ago, I sent this verse to my youngest sister Tania and she asked me what it means to be made fearfully. I actually never thought about it. It made me reflect and do some research- in the bible ‘fearfully‘ is used in the context of respect and reverence i.e. “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom“. My understanding is that this means we are created in the highest regard by our Maker.

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When you are worried and fearful, this is the verse to remember. How comforting to know God walks with us even in the darkest moments.

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Guidelines for love. I don’t think there’s much I can add to this that isn’t already said in the verse- perfection.

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Discipline is never easy and but always worthwhile. This verse captures that accurately.

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The strength of the Lord is in me. Powerful.

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I love this verse because it is a reminder that even after preparing to face a challenge, it’s important to commit that challenge to God because ultimate victory rests with Him.

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A wonderful reminder that no past mistakes or failure can cripple us.

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Every situation we face in life leads us to fulfilling our potential.

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Put your hope and faith in Him- he will not let you down!

Would love to hear some of your favourite bible verses! Share below in the comment box.

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© Tessy Maritim

Undressing Women, Undressing Society

Last week Uhuru Kenyatta finally responded to the outrageous undressing of women. And for once, I agree with him. He grasped and articulated well what most people have seemingly missed in this fiasco.

To me, it seems as we undressed women, we were also subconsciously undressing ourselves. We revealed what makes up the fabric of society- rape culture is rampant, misogyny is manifested everywhere.

I think I get why Uhuru Kenyatta’s words in this video make us extremely uncomfortable. It’s because we don’t want to be called out. I’m obvs not misogynistic; I don’t undress women on the streets. Yet, without flinching, you grope a woman in the club when she walks past you. Without flinching, you add alcohol to her drink to make it harder for her to say no to your sexual advances. Not as bad as those whose misogyny is publicly seen, right? It’s the classic case of the glasshouse.

Uhuru unapologetically and rightly calls us out for turning a blind eye to what happens in our own backyards and then turning around to yell at others for what they do in public. If you truly think undressing women in public is barbaric- you must identify the issue for what it truly is- rape culture and misogyny.

Rape culture manifests in our society deeply and widely. It’s the idea that male sexual violence has penetrated our society to the extent that it is normal. When a man makes comments about a woman’s body on the streets; when rape is blamed on how short your skirt is; when a man sexually assaults his niece- it’s because of rape culture.

I’d like us to deal with this issue for what it truly is. It has little, if anything, to do with safety and security, and more to do with how we view women. And that’s not something Uhuru Kenyatta can fix. We could have police presence on every street in Kenya and there will still be men beating their partners at home.

If you think you truly care about and respect women because you’ve condemned their public undressing, look at your own life and those around you critically. Because if you would still have sex with a girl when she’s drunk without consent, you might as well strip her in public.

 

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© Tessy Maritim

Monster(s) In My Head

We all have things we worry about. I certainly do. My anxiety is particularly worse when I’m alone. The scope of anxiety extends far wider than it should when you are alone because your mind is idle. If you’re not occupied doing something, your mind takes the opportunity and runs wild- sometimes with positive thoughts but more often than not with negative, poisonous thoughts.

I think my anxiety is far worse when I’m away from home. I spend most of my time alone and if my mind is not occupied, I start to think about home. I’ll remember that I haven’t heard from my Dad in a couple of days. So I’ll text him and wait on a reply. If there’s no reply after an hour I check to see if he’s seen my message. After another hour, I’ll text my Mom, my sisters, my cousin(s). And sometimes there’s no reply from them also. At that point, I get obsessive and stop everything I’ve remotely been doing and focus on waiting for a response from anyone. Why is no-one replying?! From there, it all goes downhill.

If you’ve been in a similar situation you understand how paralysing it can be. The worst thing about anxiety is that you don’t stop until you solve what you’re worried about- and sometimes that’s not possible.

Most times, you’ve created a situation in your head that actually does not exist. Or rather, as they say, “You’re mind becomes the devil’s workshop”. I’ve realised that sometimes you just need to focus on keeping productive.

My sister Tebby sent this list to me a while back with things to do to keep busy (I’m quoting her exact words from here):

  • Buy a pot and seeds and grow a plant.
  • Go ring window shopping (get fitted and all lol)
  • Cook something special and have a special dinner for one
  • Hire a bike and ride ride away
  • Go to the park and run
  • Make some flavoured water
  • Draw something
  • Do push-ups. Loads, the right way

Create your own and refer to it whenever you feel anxious.

As I conclude I’d like to highlight something very important- sometimes anxiety can be kept at bay with simple activities like going to the gym or cooking. But be aware that there may be a more complex underlying mental health matter that you need to speak to a medical professional about. Don’t let your mind paralyse your existence.

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© Tessy Maritim