BY: SIMONE JENNIFER SMITH
If you have not noticed, this world is a crazy place. For my 90s Hip Hop fans, ”Survival of the Fittest,” is a classic tale of how hard it is to live in this world, and if you do not learn the lessons needed to adapt, you will fail. I actually used it as my show entry for a few months during my Carib 101 Radio days; that song means a lot to me because even though I have lived a considerably good life, it does not mean I have not had to learn to adapt to this madness. One thing I have learned is that as much as I write to benefit others, not everyone wants to be benefitted. They prefer to ignore certain truths because it does not match the internalization of their world. That is okay; I will continue to teach what I know because I know that there are people out there who do take in what needs to be shared; I am only the conduit, and the message has been here for ages. Alright, I want to revisit a topic that I wrote about a long time ago; I have matured since then, so it will be interesting to see how this information is conveyed.
“He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.” Sun Tzu
My readers, or listeners out there, if you have not had a chance to read or hear the Art of War, I would suggest that you get on this as soon as possible. This book written by Sun Tzu, is a mandatory book for business students. I know you are wondering why I am suggesting this for those who are not business students. Well, technically, we are always doing business; every interaction is an exchange of some kind, and it is not always dependent on money. We can exchange; services, products, energy, even time. So, it is important that you know how to exchange in every interaction. At times, it is just like war, regardless if you want to believe it or not. So, let’s go back to the quote; you know those interactions I mentioned earlier that feel warlike? This quote addresses this type of interaction. When existing in this world, you are going to come across people who will test your limits; they will say things that are deemed antagonistic or act in ways that are combative. One thing you have to learn how to do is to pick and choose your battles. Like fire, an argument needs certain elements to rage: accelerant, combustion, and air. If you take away one of those components (you can pick which element of fire you would like to be) it is harder, if not impossible for that fire to catch. DON’T RESPOND TO THE TAUNTING! Sometimes it is best to walk away, and trust me I know it is hard. Find support teams who you can call who will be able to be objective with you. It sounds like a sponsor or buddy system, and that is exactly what it is. If you pick your battles, you live to fight another day. Battles, whether physical or verbal, are exhausting. Save your energy and direct it into aspects of your life that could use that fire.
“Never venture, never win!” Sun Tzu
I don’t know about you, but I have never heard of an army who conquered the land by staying within their territory. Actually, it makes no sense. Now, I am not telling you to go out and conquer others, how about we take some time to conquer ourselves first, which means that you have to come out your comfort zone. We all say that we want more, but we are not able to move past our constructs to do so. We are safe in our zones, and we have the luxury of familiarity. That luxury will lose its luster eventually, especially when it begins to cause mental distress. YOU HAVE TO MOVE! You have to begin to go out and meet people; create an alliance and conquer people’s thoughts of you by showing how valuable you are. This can be done in the work you do paid or unpaid, how you give back to your community in a positive way, and how you can be depended on to further the good of your community.
Don’t worry! I am not done; join me in two weeks for Part II. For now, think about what you read, and see how you can apply it in your daily life. Oh yeah! Go find the Art of War!