At the back-end of most introductions, is the usual phrase ‘Nice to meet you’ that we have grown so accustomed to using. I wonder how many of us wish we could go back in time to retract those words. If you have ever felt that way about someone, you have just helped me define a ‘not so great person’.
At some point in our lives, we have encounters with people that we can only describe with negative words. I had one a few years back when someone I considered a friend openly mocked my lifestyle with a snide remark that proclaimed that I was going to be doomed to a boring existence simply because our idea of fun differed. I recall feeling embarrassed to be called out in front of so many people for no apparent reason. While everyone laughed about it, I withdrew into a shell and disappeared. I have had other encounters that can easily fall anywhere on the spectrum of bad to really bad. In all those encounters, I could trace a similar thread, someone tried to use their words, actions or position to put me down.
In life, you don’t get to choose how you are treated but thankfully when it comes to how you respond, you have the power to exercise your freewill. Each time you choose the right response, which is not what the person expects, you take back your power. I have moved past a few bad encounters, some were easy to let go, others hard, a few are still work in progress. Through these experiences, I learned that the less airtime I gave the person or situation, the easier it was for me to move on and focus on the big plans that God has for me. I also learned to only give room to people or situations that are necessary for the process of my ‘becoming’, because not all life lessons are meant to be learned first-hand.
Even though, I received a public boredom sentence which is mild compared to the acts of bullying and cyberbullying that a lot of people face as they go through life, I can say, boring is unlikely to make the list of words that describe me. The moral of the story – you can rise above the ugliness and evolve into a beautiful soul with a story that contrasts everything that was meant to weigh you down.
I know we can all remember someone who rubbed off on us the wrong way. I like to think that amid bad encounters, lies a sweet learning that only that encounter could bring about. Yes, with all boldness, I can say everybody I have met in life has been a major contributor to who I am. Tough times and the people who present themselves as vessels/enablers in the process have helped me do things differently, shaped my perspective, forced me to take steps that I probably will not have taken if I was surrounded by niceties.
The brighter side of meeting ‘not so great people’ lies in having the right attitude that sees everything life throws at you as something to learn from. If you let the process work on you, you will be a better person as a direct result of each encounter. I told myself early in life that everyone I meet either points me to who I should or should not become. Roy T. Bennett said, “Everyone you meet is a part of your journey, but not all of them are meant to stay in your life. Some people are just passing through to bring you gifts; either they’re blessings or lessons.”
So, when next you use the phrase, ‘Nice to meet you’; mean it with all your heart because everyone you meet has a purpose and place in your life.
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