Building Relationships We Can All Be Proud Of

Friday, 30 November 2012

BEFORE YOU BUY IT, LOOK UNDER THE HOOD!

I was on the Kanda highway one Friday after work in the thicket of traffic when I noticed a helpless lady was standing by a relatively new Toyota Camry with the bonnet opened. Obviously the car was sick. Some gentlemen were trying to show concern...Just showing concern, because they were equally helpless. 

I started thinking to myself, who would have ever thought this posh looking ride could be sick? Nothing showed on it. All I saw were the tinted windows, the blinged huge alloy spinners, neon lights and metallic purple paint job and all. It was completely pimped out.  
As I was trudging through the gridlock traffic, I was asking myself questions. One key question was, 'how do you tell the worth of a thing by just looking at how it appears?' You know, by looking at the exterior, this ride was all a guy or a lady with a taste for pimped out rides, needed. But does the exterior reflects the contents and the quality under the hood or the bonnet? Can you, by just looking at how it appears, decide it will act and live like that as well? Does the glory that is visible to the eyes, be the same as that which is hidden from the eyes? When we decide to do a thorough check would we have an impressive outcome? 

From my little experience in cars (as a professional insurance underwriter, auto insurance and the lot) I know most people buy used cars without actually testing and asking relevant questions. Maybe a mechanic will go with them to check a few things and tell them the ride is good. It could be that the car is indeed in a good shape, the mechanic does not know what to check or the seller is preventing the mechanic from fidgeting with the car - since you have not bought it yet (Welcome to Ghana). Somehow, because the buyer may have fallen for the exterior and the interior, what is under the hood is not really scrutinized.... something that sometimes blows up in their faces.  

I was just thinking, does this really play out in our love lives? Yep! How often do we fall in love with the facade? Many times!! The voice, the words, the family, the physique, the work, finance and all that. How often are we distracted by these things? Because we make up our minds based on what we see, most often than not, we are blinded by the essential things that we need to look out for. Every word of advice or caution to you is either evil or unfair. When you ask those you trust to help you evaluate that man or woman you are crushing on, they either do a terrible job because they do not know where to look or what to look out for, or their jobs are sabotaged by your crush who is ensuring that your attention is on them and not on the one doing the assessment. Some people only come to confirm what they know you have chosen and would not change your mind about. 

Sometimes, we go to God after we have made the choice and ask him to confirm it for us...Which he gladly does. What else do you want? You came to him with your choice; you did not go to him to help you make a choice. So we end up choosing based on what we see and not what we have to look out for. Sometimes, we just don't want to rock the boat, probe too much; the fear of finding maggots is too haunting we would play the ostrich instead. 

How can you tell her sickness by looking at her dress, her make-up and by feeling her cologne? How can you tell what his innermost and under-the-hood ailments are by just listening to his glorious voice, looking at his swag and considering his cash? How do you evaluate the most important things you are looking for in the relationship like honestly, fidelity, sincerity, loyalty, companionship among others when all you are fixated upon is how the person appears? 

There is so much hidden under the hood you will never know until you are told, experience it yourself or probe them out. There are so many ailments hidden under the hood that if you knew them you wouldn't attempt hitting the highway of life with them. Ailments of character, of the heart and desires, of intentions and motives, sicknesses of past hurts and hatred, contagious and wasting dis-eases all hidden in the bonnet and covered up in a heap of glitz, glamour and deception waiting for the innocent; waiting for someone to commit. Then one problem after the other starts. 


As it is expected, because you lack the total picture of what you are dealing with, you solve each problem as you know best how to. Yet as hard as you try, each problem solved leads to another problem revealed. What did you do wrong? You made the best choice there was. Well it might appear so... but you were captured by the body..the exterior...the visible and not what was under the bonnet. not the hidden things that needed thorough investigation and observation (and for the Christian) prayer in addition to unearth. Do not pray with your eyes closed; people are stealing purses at church lately. Pray, but investigate. 

Someone, said to me, when she starts a new relationship with someone, she does not want to know about the person's past. It is gone, keep it there. That is a very dumb way of looking at life. I told her. You need to know why the person is in the market of love for your own good. Why are they single? If you don't know why a government was overthrown, don't you think, as a new government, you are likely to repeat the mistakes of the past Government? You only do a different thing when you know what was done before you. Do not invent the process; get the person talking and they will give you clues. Sometimes, you get to know what the ex did and you know you would not last in the relationship because you see the ex in you. You sometimes hear the story and you realise the ex was not the problem; the one in front of you is. You need to know so you know how to cope with the person, how to help them pull through whatever it is they are dealing with. 

That conversation reveals much; the way they talk about their exes, the kind of words they use on people when they are bitter, how bitter and unforgiving they can be, how cold and short-tempered they can be, their pettiness level among others. Indeed, it can even give you a clue whether they are indeed over their exes or they are looking for a rebound relationship. But to say, you don't want to know, is a very sad way of entering a relationship...the same way not wanting to know what kind of loss the car suffered for which it was imported to Ghana can cost you dearly. Was it flood? Road accident (and where) or even kpa kpa kpa move bi like that will give you a clue as to what you are dealing with. You need to know because not all losses are easy to fix, the same way not all damaged emotions and character traits are easy to live with. 

May your eyes be opened to see beyond the body and the beauty of it... But even better may the sicknesses and the hidden illnesses manifest before you commit so you can quietly walk away... May wisdom and the grace of God ensure this. You don't want to be left in the middle of the highway...


~PG Sebastian~
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