Steps. Little steps. These are what most men make. Most of us do not have the loot to buy all our household goods in one go. We plan. We scrimp and save and sacrifice. We take time. Then we make that considerable purchase, heave a sigh of relief, and take those little steps toward another goal. After we make such purchases, we close that chapter.
Then life happens. And not in a good way. We lose a job. Our business goes under. Rent arrears keep piling, as we struggle to stay afloat amidst the rising tides. Next thing we know, auctioneers knock on our door with the landlord in tow and cart away all our household goods, forcibly dragging us back to square zero.
One of the most humiliating things a man can suffer is watching this ignominy happen to you, and you are powerless and penniless to do a thing. You do not have the right words to assure your wife and children. If a man is fortunate, his family will understand and stand with him.
The neighbours already see such a man as a loser. Because, in the world that we live in, a man is judged by how he provides for his family. If for whatever reason, folks perceive that a man has not ably provided for his family, he will be convicted and hanged in the court of public opinion.
When relationships die in our lives, we are supposed to go through all the stages of grief. We all have relationships with our household goods. It may be the bed that gives us comfort after a hard day’s work; or where we’ve made love and babies. Or it could be the TV set that keeps us informed and entertained. It could be the refrigerator that has helped us save money.
Last year, when auctioneers carted our household goods, I was in denial. I knew I had bought the items clean, using clean money. Like most men, it was inconceivable to me that this was happening to me; that auctioneers were buying my prized possessions like they were trash. Hard as it was, I knew that I had to let go. I knew that I was a still gifted and that there were better TVs, home theatres and all the items that the auctioneers took.
When auctioneers return a man to square zero, a man should fold his sleeves and get down to brass tacks after they have gone through the stages of grief. A man should dream of better days. When you look at those empty rooms in your house, fill them up – first through faith and then works – with top of the range appliances and electronics, plushiest furniture and the latest household items. Who knows, maybe the auctioneers came because you had become complacent.
I learnt long ago as a boy that the only way a stone hits and kills a bird that is far away or up in the tallest tree is when the slingshot is pulled back to its breaking point. Life will bring situations, like auctioneers, who will pull us to our breaking points. But, if we are wired right and have the right structure, we will not break. Any boy who’s hunted using a slingshot knows the pain that comes when a “bladder” breaks after you pulled it back with all your strength. Or when the Y-structure of the slingshot is not sound, and it can’t handle being pulled up. I mean, all these things must work in tandem.
So, man, when auctioneers pull up to your front door, know that you are not being pulled back; but being propelled to stratospheric heights. It all depends on your perception.