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Read Letter

Public Opinion

My dear Jack, I think you worry too much about what people will say in any given situation. It paralyses you, immobilises you and reduces your energy commitment to your vision. You second guess and third guess yourself. Because of this you can’t go in decisively on any scheme.

You worry because you don’t yet understand the mechanics of public opinion, or how the world runs. Opinion is not necessarily a thought out position despite what the word sounds like. Opinions are not necessarily processed cogitations either. They’re just proprietary expressions of individuals. Opinion is the biggest fundamental human right franchise. Everybody has an opinion. Everybody will have an opinion. Most times (99% of the time actually) opinions are expressions of prejudice, and hidden and not so hidden agenda.

The man who expresses an opinion seeks to exercise indirect influence over the lives of others. He’s trying to influence others to have biases and views about a person, to create social pressure. He seeks to shape lives, determine courses and associations…mould outcomes. It’s an indirect governmental control. If you don’t understand this you’ll be unwittingly teleguided via a remote control unit. If you’re ever going to amount to anything in life you must learn to exercise pachydermatous insouciance to people’s opinion. That’s not saying don’t listen to anybody. Just recognise motivations, biases and agenda.

Not every good advice is rightly motivated. Not every offer of help comes from a clean heart. Be wise. And if I were you there are some opinions I wouldn’t even pay attention to. The structure of life is such that attempts to climb the ladder out of decrepitude are attended by ill wishes of the cynical. Everything is okay as long as you don’t exhibit ambition. Once you express aspiration the tentacles of animus protrude. See, those people whose opinions you so worry about, in reality what can they do to you? When THEY took decisions concerning their affairs were you consulted?! Exactly! So why worry yourself to death, subjecting yourself to the governance regime of the opinion and prejudices of others?

I’ve told you this before, who you marry is your decision; has to be your decision. If you’re going to be the titular head of your household you must take responsibility for its creation. Your acquiescence in allowing others to choose a wife for you doesn’t obliterate your responsibility. That you subject your matrimonial choice to cultural forces won’t absolve you of responsibility for the outcome. You will live with the consequence of your choice or acquiescence. If your choice is good, you’ll enjoy a blissful marriage; but if you make a bad choice…well…Though I don’t know why you’ll want others to choose your wife for you. The people you gave power to determine your matrimonial destiny are channeling THEIR prejudices and world view. They don’t necessarily know what is good for you, can’t know what your heart really desires or what you need.

That the woman you love is a single mother should ordinarily not be an issue, unless you allow it become one. It’s all cultural really. You’re dealing with cultural prejudices that are sometimes hypocritical and silly if not senseless. It’s your choice. It’s your decision. You ought to know who’s good for you. If this lady is as wonderful as you describe what is “the only coma is the fact she’s a single mother”? Which coma? After coma, what next? Semicolon, colon, hyphen? Who’s composing these sentences? The world is not short of punctuation marks when it comes to blocking happiness in the sentence of life. I’m just saying if you find love, joy and peace why would you throw it away on account of cultural correctness? Who are you trying to please? Them?! You can’t please the world. Why would you allow them to determine your matrimonial choice? Did you make THEIR choice for them? Life is too complex for these imaginary puritanical considerations. If you know a single mother, divorcee or widow will give you happiness don’t throw the opportunity away because of chatter.

You don’t know the world! Some of those chattering have bitter marital experiences. They’re channeling their angst. They don’t want you to have happiness. They want you to join the fellowship of the ring of the unhappy. Now, making your relationship work is another thing entirely. Good choice is not enough. I’m just saying don’t allow cultural technicalities rob you of happiness. You may live in regret the rest of your life. Whether you marry a biological virgin, or technical virgin, divorcee, widow or single mother let the choice be yours not someone else’s. You know what you want, you know what you like, take responsibility! And I still don’t understand the rational behind approaching pastors to make marital choices for individuals. That a pastor chooses a wife for you doesn’t mean it will work. Neither does it signify the imprimatur of Divinity.

The general principle is that you as a man must take responsibility over your life and over your choices. You can’t turn around tomorrow and blame God for your choice of wife! Adam tried to pull that stunt it didn’t work. Remember “the woman whom thou (God) gavest me” gambit? It didn’t work! God held him accountable. Of course you can approach your pastor for counsel. He’s imbued with capacities of grace. But you can’t repudiate responsibility for your choice of marriage partner. I can’t say this loud enough. And of course you know my stance about “spiritual examinations”. It’s bunk and unsupported by scriptures.

So, back to you. Do you want to marry her or not? We’re all waiting for your decision.

Your mentor,


© Leke Alder 2014

Tags : Decision, Responsibility, Opinion

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