“I know this will be your fault!”
“Over Sabi house wife!”
“You always think you know too much!”
Growing up as a little girl and acting out, these were the words constantly hurled at me. I was very innocent, naive and carefree. But I was a gifted child and a loud one. Intelligent, articulate, fearless and quick to express my opinion on any issues. Little did I know that my personality was a threat to so many around me.
Back then kids my age either avoided me because they felt intimidated or tried to be my friend and just tagged along. Most of the older folks in an attempt to control or tame me, would constantly criticize, abuse or compare me with other kids with more subdued and less intimidating personalities. And of course, made it clear that I was a problem and they preferred the other kids
Yet there were some who because of my swag and the prospect of a great future they saw in me were convinced that I would be the next big thing. So, they placed me on a very high pedestal based on their high expectations of me. And the truth is I couldn’t cope. I lost myself and started living for people. Most of the time I had to act to keep up “the image” and people’s expectations of me. God!!!! I was lonely. I was just a child acting act and longing for acceptance.
No one should have to put up with this. Worse still a child. Curious to know the effect of this on my life? Well, the once sparkly child unconsciously internalized those words spoken to her and lost it. She couldn’t meet up. I lost my unique personality, became a shadow of myself, became afraid of expressing my opinion. Began to pretend and act like other children that were liked and praised because my little mind concluded that they were normal and as such better than me who was abnormal. I became a lie and wanted to be like every other person, ORDINARY so I lost my EXTRA. That was the beginning of the death of the star, ME!
Clearly, this is typically a case of exposing success too quickly. But it is not the child’s making. It’s God’s handwork; His blessings. I haven’t checked the statistics but sadly observed that most child stars and incredible bright children don’t turn out well in adulthood. The early exposure of their potentials at that crude and unrefined state attracts a lot of reactions both good and bad that a child at that age cannot handle and is ultimately destroyed.
That child begins to see the gift as a curse and begins to feel ashamed of it (as well as self) instead of polishing and learning how to use it. Consequently the gift is rejected together with the great personality carrying it. In the child’s mind, this gift is the reason why people misunderstand and hate me. The reason am alone. You and I Know that this mindset will produce terrible results not just for the child but society in general.
Am reminded of the bible story of the infant star Joseph; whose destiny was almost destroyed by his own brothers. There are always people around to stifle the gift at infancy. Now I know why construction companies shield their project sites until it is fully finished and great cooperation don’t expose their projects plan to the general public until maturity stage.
An infant is an infant whether human or project. They all need to be protected from destruction at nascent stage.