This is a tale of why you shouldn't settle for what you think is worth it, while your heart tells you that you are short-changing yourself.
"A picture is worth a thousand words, but when the words are beautiful, I would rather read them than watch a picture".
It's always amazing when I meet someone who appreciates my use of, and play of, words. It's like they're able to dig deeper in my heart, and fill the caverns that lie deep within. A reader who picks up an eloquently written book.
Over the years, I've realised that sometimes one meets two, and one likes two. There are sometimes problems within the likeship between one and two, such that one gives two more than two gives one. I've been one in a few crucial instances, and I thank God in hindsight, because I would have become a short-changed one.
The Value of a Man
As a man, I've been learning more about my worth, in the sense of "what I bring to the table" and what I expect. The danger in us amping up women about how great or wonderful they are, is that we sometimes don't question neither them nor us, about what they edify us with (a sunset is wonderful, but what does it tangibly do for you?).
I have eaten many thoughts over the years about my value as a man. I'm not yet sated, but I have a better idea than I did in the past few years. Like a pendulum gravitating to its resting position, so am I. I wish to settle down in the measurable future, and that has lead me to an intensifying evaluation of potential companions.
In the midst of this evaluation, I have looked inside to understand what I get in return for what I offer. It often comes short of what I give.
Due to this incongruency, I realise that I would be diminishing my internal value by settling for less that what I want. I have a mind bursting with words, word-play, expressions, my extemporaneous (I recently learnt that word, neat!) Japanese Proverbs, and other potential beaus.
Settling with, or for, someone who doesn't appreciate this, is like a chef cooking for someone who has no taste for good food.
This is important enough for me, that I am considering it a deal-breaker if I meet one who doesn't take pleasure in the way my mind works. I'm not purporting to be a word-artist, one doesn't need to be such to appreciate the beauty of language and words.
Reading and Writing
Lord willing, I know I will someday have accumulated enough wits and desire to start writing. I want to write children's books, or at least start there.
Imagine one someday giving two a book to read, and finding that two does not appreciate one's writing. If two cannot critique one's work, how can they be one?
There are parents who later wake up to regret parenting. I think I would wake up one day to regret settling down with someone who neither enjoys reading, nor writing. I don't mean to say that I enjoy reading in the literary sense, but I can sit down and consume an inordinate amount of knowledge and content. This comes by reading.
We recently got shocked by the fact that a projected 78% of South African Grade 4's cannot read for comprehension. This was mind-blowing though plausible. I thought back that when I was in Grade 2, I could read in two languages. Though my vocabulary was small at the time, my phonetics and other skills were sharp enough.
When people can read well and fluently, they often take pleasure in reading. I remember one of my cousins used to sit in the house, and silently devour the large novel collection that my great-aunt's children had amassed. An author spent thousands of hours, meticulously (unless it's Bonang Matheba with her awful autobiography) constructing words into sentences, into paragraphs and chapters. The best way of respecting them, if you pick their book up, is to give them your attention.
Social media and instant messaging continue to alarmingly expose our ignorance, lacklusterity and disappreciation of the arts.
When a person sits down to type you a lengthy, well constructed, message; please read it. I have a few times gotten a response like "this was too long, I didn't read it". How do you respond to someone framing their state of mind, hanging a part of their heart on the line, and inviting you in; with "TL;DR"?
A Thousand Words
I would choose a thousand words any day!
I for one - if two does not show the same appreciation - would rather walk away and hope to find three, or four, or five ...
Look at that! There is life beyond two if things don't work out!
Don't short-change yourself fellow human. If you adore someone else, but they do not contribute to your strong qualities, you might find yourself in love with an illusion.
Photo by Glen Noble on Unsplash