What’s Beyond Our Control

This is one of the most difficult situations I’ve ever encountered in my life, where I would try to control things that are beyond my control.

When I was doing Grade 8 at Boingotlo Middle School. I was so focussed and dedicated to my studies but there were times when I would read a football magazine or just an ordinary book and my classmates would throw jests to what I was doing.

They would judge me and say I like being serious and I will never get anymore in life by keeping myself busy and not enjoying life. So I got irritated by the repeated criticism and I stopped reading for a while.

One day I woke up crying. I looked myself in the mirror and I asked myself this question:

“Will I stop myself from being what I would like to be just because of what people say about me?”

I got back to my routine of reading and thriving for my goals and since that time I realised exactly what things I have control over and the things I don’t have control over. The only thing I did not have control over was how negative some people can be. At that time I did not know that I have less control over people’s preferences.

As teenagers, we have so much energy stored inside us but we lose it over things that are beyond our control. The truth is, you cannot control how people should feel about you, it is beyond your control.

We want to change people who don’t want to change. People change when they want to and it’s beyond your control to try and change them. Ask yourself this question and be honest with yourself: How many times have I tried to change people but ultimately they couldn’t?

The answer should dictate as to whether you should continue trying to change someone when they don’t prefer to change on their own.

If you do something and expect everyone to believe in it, it’s a dead end for you because not everyone will believe in you. There are certain people who will believe in your dreams and ideas but some people will never do.

That’s because some people are scared of your success and they choose not to believe in you. Don’t feel bad when certain people don’t believe in you, it’s beyond your control.

The only thing that every human being has 100% control over is themselves.

There’s a battle that you can fight and the chances of you being victorious are less, but the battle that you can always fight and become victorious is with yourself. You can’t control the behaviour, attitude and character of other people, but you can choose to work on yourself. Change yourself, amplify yourself believe, manage your responses.

As Ghandi said: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Control yourself, not other people.

And in your journey remember that not everyone will remember.

It was two years back when my father resigned as a policeman. After a couple of months of having awaited for his retirement packages, it was finally a happy time for my family. Out of the goodness of my heart I expressed my generosity, largely to my friends. My parents gave us some cash to put in our bank accounts, me and my twin brother.

I had so many friends and I accommodated everyone like a jumping castle including people who just passed by your house without even greeting. I had a few friends at school so I would spend some money on food and beverages on them. During break time they knew exactly where to go.

Everyone witnessed our generosity to them. We would go out during weekends to various restaurants in town and sometimes go out and have drinks. The year ended and the school reopened.

That’s when we had some financial challenges. That was the year I witnessed changes in people. My friends changed and they started hanging around with new friends.

There were times where we would go to school with nothing in our pockets, and the painful part is that they would pass by and say nothing. They would purchase food in front of us. This story makes me cry just thinking and writing about it!

I know that some teenagers have encountered such a situation and they feel so bad about it.

When I look back, I realise that people change for various reasons. The truth is that not everyone will remember. Some people will not remember the time when you took the bullet for them. Some people will not remember the last time you sacrificed your last cent just to see them succeed and accomplish their goals.

Not everyone will remember the time you believed in them when they couldn’t believe in themselves. Not everyone will remember the choice you took just to save them from their own troubles.

A lot of us have gone through a situation where we validated our own principles, morals and character. Acknowledge the fact that people change because of certain things. Some change because of money, some because of new people, some because of a new standard of living, positions and possessions. Never regret doing something for someone expressing your heart-felt compassion.

The fact that you gave something or did something for them and ultimately they forgot, doesn’t mean your efforts did not go unnoticed. Your kindness, generosity, compassion and love did not go unnoticed. Those who do good to others without expectations, will always be granted with more of what they’ve given.

Never remind them of what you’ve done for them because the universe recognised your efforts and will definitely reward with you.


Tell us: Have you ever sacrificed for people who never returned your generosity?