Choosing to reframe our thinking

Grace Chirenje

THIS week, I was very upset. So, I am working on this project with a big client and not only has the project delayed by six months but I feel there could be better work ethos. Instead, the project has dragged on.

If you manage projects, I am sure you know that this is not peculiar to this situation — projects delay. However, when it is due to human tardiness, it becomes a different story. This case for me is more of a classic case of how people must acknowledge when things go wrong and transform it into a win-win situation.

Now I find myself having to be the bigger being so that I am not labelled a difficult person to work with. I am torn between being authentic to my true self or just playing along.

I have never been ok with playing along as that usually creates conflict within myself, which can be avoided by having the difficult conversations.

Which I have tried to but to no avail.Never mind, the fact that we all know the “truth” of what is happening and who is causing the conflict.

Well, it got me worked up and I just paused to reflect for a moment, what is becoming of our world?

Our conditioning

Growing up in Zimbabwe, children are often told that conflict is not good. Most of us are raised to see the older generation as worthy of respect and many a time, as children, the mantra is that we should never speak out, especially in front of visitors or when the elders are talking.

More like be seen; that is if you are even lucky enough to be in a space where you can be seen and acknowledged. We grow up to be adults whose voice is somewhat gagged and we struggle to express ourselves even in the face of grave abuses or violations.

It is deemed as disrespectful of “us” to speak out as it is seen as challenging our elders or those in authority even when we are so sure they may be toying with the truth.

We are often taught that in order to exist peacefully with others, we should be agreeable and in instances where we are not, we are labelled trouble makers.

Well, this has bred a culture of toxicity and when we enter the work places, we find ourselves with people who abuse us left, right and centre — that subconscious framing kicks in where we cannot voice our truth so we stuff it up and live like we are ok.

This sadly is rather the cause of many people perpetuating toxicity.

Now, when we find ourselves at work or out there in the world doing our best to become better adults, we come across people who have been socialised in the same manner.

These adults, however, are not the issue as they agree to get along. It is when people challenge the status quo and step up and voice their concerns that they face a major challenge.

My dearest reader, imagine a time you spoke out or went against the tide — how did that go for you?

Well, maybe you are blessed with a pastor like mine who chooses to heed to the voice of the sensitive church members but for the most, the former often faces grave consequences.

Actually, the world now is so messed up that the people who seek to do what is deemed progressive, face the axe at the expense of those who abuse the majority.

Now, this is not a human rights crusade but an insight into the notion that has befallen most of our people.

The very people who choose to speak up are often axed.

This leads the majority to withdrawal and silence, which gives a false picture to those in power about what is actually obtaining on the ground.

All to the disadvantage of the suffering majority. It is now high time that we each step up and defy how we were socialised and learn to speak truth to power.

Yes, I get it, it may be at the expense of your pay cheque in some instances but what good is it when you lose your soul to the very devil?

Redefining our mindset

It is never a good idea to suck it up. As humans, dissonance of any form leads to nothing good.

Zimbabwe is where it is because people remain silent in the face of grave injustices. It could be at home, work, church or even broader community.

The world needs more people who champion the truth, whatever it looks like. It is in the face of grave injustices that we need to take a stand.

In Shona, it is said, “gudo guru peta muswe vaduku vakutye”, leaders just ought to lead by example and stop all this nonsensical lifestyle.

When we err, we show up and step up to admit our shortcomings so that there can be transformation.

We keep pushing for a better life and future.

Until then, we live, laugh and love louder in a bid to show the world that we are here, becoming better, making our mark, and leaving our footprint as we make the world a better place!

 Chirenje writes in her personal capacity as a citizen of Zimbabwe. Twitter: @graceruvimbo; Facebook: Grace Chirenje; Instagram: @graceruvimbo

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