A small fracture can ruin a leg.

A small defect can sink a ship.

A small crack can break a metal.

… and a small character problem can ruin a man.

We often think that disasters are made up of random isolated acts that usually invade like an armed bandit. We sometimes see people who have fallen, failed or made terrible mistakes as just a coincidence.

My friend, let me break the news to you, nothing is ever random. Success is not random and neither is failure. At least not matters that touch on the character.

Malcolm Gladwell, one of my favourite authors in the book outliers talks about the theory of mistakes. For a plane to crash, there are a series of mistakes that must occur so that there is no saving of the situation except destruction and ruin. In the same manner, there are several mistakes that you can make, that can cost you a fortune. A small typing error. A minute of last full passion. A moment of flared up anger. A foolish decision.

When you kick a woman openly before a crowd, you must have done other horrible things to women in the private place.

When you go to the streets to pick up a hooker, most often than not you have indulged in all manner of lustful thoughts and probably tasted some. You must have chewed on pornography for too long for you to say that you want more. To experience the kinkiness of the real deal. You must have masturbated yourself to a point where you felt tired. Your mind wanted more.

For you to make a scene in the streets. For you to burn with anger until you hit someone, it’s not a mistake, it’s a character flaw. It doesn’t matter how many times you say sorry. If you hit her, you have an underlying problem. Something that is very deep-seated that you need to face and wrestle down. It doesn’t matter how many times you wish you could change. If you don’t open up the wound and deal with it, healing will be as elusive as a seasonal bird.

When a famous Lingala musician kicked one of her dancers in the open with live cameras rolling, to me, this was the height of some of his depraved belief system spilling out to the public. He was being interviewed but he took a break in the glare of the camera to kick the dancer.

I remember when he was performing in Kenya a while back, he was shouting at the dancers and they were terrified of him. It’s like he was ruling them with an iron fist, fear, manipulation and all manner of negative energy. But for him to have the audacity to kick her at the airport; for him to walk from an interview only to head straight to her and deliver the blow, this man is an abuser.

It doesn’t matter how many opinions have been penned to try and explain why he behaved the way he did. The man had developed a sense of pride that can ruin a man.

And that’s what many of us ignore. We struggle with tiny little habits that do not necessarily pose any risk in the short run. We just drink a bit but we good. We just smoke one cigarette per day but we can control ourselves. We just have unprotected sex with a clandestine for a night and we think it’s harmless. We steal one hour of our employers time and we barely give our all.

We are toxic and negative. Nothing good can ever come out of humanity so we say. We are okay with anger. Pent up anger that we acquired from how we were raised. Either by manipulating fathers, abusive mothers, strict uncles, poverty stricken homes or bullying peers.

We know we are hurting. We know we need help. But we numb the pain. We say that we will deal with it someday. But that someday never reaches until you are handed a six-year jail term because of uncontrollable anger. We wake up when our lives have been shattered by a stray bullet when we stopped to think of our actions.

We wake up to smell the coffee when we have acquired a sexually transmitted disease but we can’t tell our wives because we cheated. It’s always fun and games with the bottle or drugs until someone is an addict and they have to live with the consequences of their actions forever. It’s fun and games until our reputation in the global world is shattered as our shows are cancelled left right and centre and as we go home, we are booed.

I know that we are all messed up. We will make mistakes now and then. But we must not waste our struggles. We must not waste our mistakes. If we can’t learn from them, then who will? It doesn’t matter what everyone is saying. We have unique individual marathons that we need to run. We can’t compare ourselves to others because we are uniquely running the races of our lives. They drunk too much but they never got addicted. They cheated but they were never caught.

Rise up and make war. Make war against that tiny habit that will cost you a successful career. Make war against that habit that has held you captive for years. Make war against anything that threatens your destiny. Do whatever you can to run away from a situation that might mess you up. Amputate if you can. Pluck your eyes if you have got to. Cut your legs (not literally though) if they are leading you to destruction. Sew your mouth so that you can control the words you speak to your destiny.

If you are a believer, go on your knees. Pray and fast. Surround yourself with iron that will sharpen you. Call on the name of Jesus. Because it is easy to be in the limelight, it is easy to hit the pinnacle of success. It is easy to be considered successful but to maintain it, you must have the attitude required. Make war!

Loved the piece? Follow the writer on twitter @dannishodongo and like his page Dannish Odongo. He is a journalist and a political commentator. For any enquiries, you can reach him on +254720348865

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Author: Dannish Odongo

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