Do you ever really know a per­son?

Weekend Witness - - Opinion - With BRIAN KHOZA

AT what point can you say you know a per­son? A lot of peo­ple see, hear and read about fa­mous peo­ple so of­ten, they start to be­lieve they know them per­son­ally. They will vouch for them and swear on ev­ery­thing sa­cred to th­ese peo­ple’s char­ac­ter, un­til one day they are sur­prised.

It may not be some­thing too bad that they dis­cover about them, but their ini­tial as­sump­tions in­crease the po­ten­tial for a good thing to go bad.

They say it is bad to speak ill of oth­ers when you do not have the facts, and I have learnt that it is the same when it comes to speak­ing well of oth­ers with­out mak­ing sure you have the com­plete story.

There has been one em­bar­rass­ing moment af­ter an­other in my life when some­thing that hap­pened to me was em­bel­lished.

This led to ad­mi­ra­tion that I truly felt was mis­placed and it led to sit­u­a­tions at times when I had to own peo­ple’s dis­ap­point­ment in me.

“They hail you, then they nail you,” says Lau­ryn Hill in her song Su­per­star, where she says they did it to Christ too.

Ado­ra­tion can im­prison you when you are not ready for it, but more im­por­tantly, when it is in­ap­pro­pri­ate.

I once con­fided in a church rec­tor, whom I call my Mother Friend, that I’ve strug­gled to go to church be­cause, at times, at­ten­tion is drawn to me and I feel pres­sured.

My real mother dis­agrees, but I feel I should be able to con­cen­trate on learn­ing and ob­serv­ing my faith with­out peo­ple want­ing to see who I am and get close.

This has hap­pened in three churches and only Mother Friend’s at­ten­tion felt like sin­cere love, but that is the one rea­son I’m scarce in the house of the Lord. I still read my Bi­ble.

There is so much bad stuff to dis­cover about all peo­ple that they may be com­fort­able with and do not think is bad. Some­times they are work­ing steadily on im­prov­ing them­selves. They do not want to have a myr­iad strangers to an­swer to be­cause some­body de­cided they were dis­ap­pointed af­ter an as­sump­tion proved in­cor­rect.

In this world, where peo­ple want to rise to the top by step­ping on oth­ers, there are times when they bully the wrong peo­ple.

Some peo­ple do not walk around flex­ing their mus­cles, since in­tim­i­da­tion and fear are not on their agenda, and they are usu­ally stronger than bul­lies.

And think­ing you know some­one can make you at­tempt to out­wit and out­smart them in busi­ness, or dis­re­gard their in­put in a busi­ness de­ci­sion be­cause their in­ge­nu­ity was covert. What about com­pro­mis­ing some­body’s plans be­cause, not hav­ing faith in them, you in­ter­vened in a trans­ac­tion they were ex­e­cut­ing, think­ing you knew bet­ter?

They say that know­ing means know­ing that you don’t know.

Isn’t that the third guar­an­tee of life, be­sides death and taxes?

You never really know a per­son who is not in your life, un­less you are a clair­voy­ant.

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