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The Daily Vulnerable by Chude Jideonwo: Decide For Yourself



chude jideoWhen people come to meet me for advice, they often want me to look into my life’s situations and tell them exactly what to do.

And sometimes that is very effective. Others have done same for me to good effect. But in the same way, others have done same for me to crippling effect.

What I prefer to do is help the person, through a process of reflection, rumblings and questions to decide what they now see to be the best thing to do in whatever situation. It’s the process of thinking, feeling and being that I most want to impart, not a specific set of solutions, actions, or thoughts.

Sometimes, it is important to just help tell a person what to do (if a person is about to walk into a fire, I suspect it’s best to say ‘don’t!’, than to begin a lecture on the philosophical traditions that help a person avoid fire), but other than those, I want to stimulate their own capacity to embrace and act on reality for themselves.

Because, yes, I have packed many lives into my short stay on earth, and I have learnt plenty because of the gift of study and experience that I give myself. But I am still a human being, on this journey, and specific things may change. I may learn better ways, find out my sincerely held decisions or actions were sub-optimal, or completely change how I choose to show up in the world.

When that happens, the change, the evolution, the direction will not confuse you, because you have learnt to choose your own path for yourself.

This is your journey. I am also on mine. Humility will help us keep those two statements in a beautiful perspective.

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Jideonwo is a storyteller, using the research and evidence on human flourishing to inspire new narratives about politics, markets, faith, identity and society in Africa. He is a co-founder of RED, which he ran for 13 years before stepping down in December 2017. One of its companies, StateCraft Inc. handled communication for the Muhammadu Buhari campaign in 2015 and has worked in elections in Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

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