Well, I am 66, and when I make time to look back at my six and half-decade of existence I discover things I wish I knew when I was younger.
This morning I want to share a few with you:
Firstly, somebody is plotting your downfall.
This came as a huge surprise to me, I was naive to believe that because I mind my own business everyone else minds their own business. It comes as a shock because whilst I wish no one ill, there were people who were determined that I would not fly as high as I could.
Secondly, your progress threatens someone.
We tell them of our plans, we tell them of our breakthroughs, we tell them everything. Most people do not really want to know that things are working that well with you. They begin to feel bad and start wishing ill for you, if there is anything they can do to thwart your progress, they do it.
Thirdly, most people who depend on us resent us, for depending on us.
There are people you help wholeheartedly and you expect that your generosity in the spirit in which it was given will be reciprocated. But that is often not what happens, some of them who depend on you are not happy to depend on you and they resent it and resent you as well.
If some of you who are generous knew what is said about you in your absence, I am sure you will be heartbroken for a long time.
Four, people can lie confidently and convincingly.
The day Kutu Acheampong made his coup in 1972, I took trotro from Kaneshie to Accra Central. In the trotro, two men in their late 40s chatter. One of them was very excited and he said, “I know Acheampong very well, I was in Accra Academy with him, we sat in the same class.”
Everyone was excited and felt fortunate to have boarded the same vehicle with a friend of the new head of state. So imagine my shock and it was clear that Kutu Acheampong hadn’t attended Accra Academy. It was the first time I discovered that there are people who can lie with such confidence.
Five, someone you trust is using your trust against you.
This is one of the most distressing things in life, there are people who work very hard to earn your trust. They serve you selflessly and with great devotion until you come to depend completely on them. At that point, they use your trust in them to manipulate you for their own ends.
Politicians know this very well. There is always someone who helps a politician get elected; they sacrifice everything for the politician and when the politician comes to power, at that point, they use the politician’s trust to manipulate him/her.
Six, learning languages empowers you and opens doors for you.
I have one regret in life, and it is that I cannot speak many languages, I look back now and realise how much I have cheated myself by not being proficient in many other languages. Ability to function in many languages is priceless but I have come to realise this a little bit too late in my life.
Seven, our faith in God can be used to manipulate and take advantage of us.
I wish I knew this. I have always been religious and assumed that those who profess religion fear God, I could not imagine anyone could despise God so much that he would use His name to deceive, now I realise it comes very easy to some people.
Eight, women are more intelligent than men.
In my experience and all the research I have done so far, women are more intelligent than men.
I wish I knew and accepted this fact earlier in life when I was younger, there were girls I thought I was taking advantage of. Now in my old age, I realise that they wanted me to think I was taking advantage of them, the truth is that, they were taking advantage of me.
Men tend to underestimate the intelligence of women, a retired army officer friend of mine, a macho man, once said to his wife, “You have no idea how hard I strategised and how well I executed that strategy to make you mine,”
His wife laughed in his face and said “What strategy? Go and ask my friend whose shop you first noticed me and she will tell you that two months before that first encounter I told her that I was going to make you marry me”
A lot of men when dealing with women deceive themselves into thinking they are in charge and they are running the show ooh if only they knew.
These are just eight of the many things I learnt too late in my life, hopefully, you will not have to discover them when it is too late for you.