There is this laundry guy who helps me to keep my clothes clean. I would give him my clothes; I hardly worry about anything because he came highly recommended by someone I really respect. This person who referred him is highly given to details; so, I would take his words very seriously.
After my first engagement with him, I was so impressed by his hardwork. It is natural to me that when I meet such people I am looking for what can be done to make his work more efficient and more rewarding; young people who work hard are not very common these days.
So, My first recommendation to him was to develop some sort of documentation system, no matter how small (print or electronic) that states how many clothes he collected, their description and how much is due to him. His response was very dismissing…it seems his own mental capacity can handle multiple inventory at thesame time. I left the matter.
Another day, I asked him, “If God were to increase your business right now, what will be your immediate need?” His response this time was completely full of pride. He answered, “I have all that I needs already.” I paused and took a second look at him. While he was trying to convince me that he has all that he needed, he mentioned that the Manager of a new hotel, with full laundromat and drycleaning machines, had asked him to come partner with them to put the equipments to optimal use and he had responded by saying that his business is better (by the way, his business is a space built into the intermediate landing of a staircase servicing a multiple-resident hostel complex).
I realised I am dealing with someone who has not been able to see beyond himself at the moment. I left the matter. He is not very wise and he doesn’t value wise counsel that much.
A month ago, one of my trousers went missing. He could not find it. My first surprise is that he has not even made an effort to find it. I gave him a whole month to find and return it; I did not get a call, a message or even an apology for what happened. He told the man who referred him that he would just buy another one for me, he cannot trouble himelf. It turned out that his mental capacity cannot handle multiple inventory without problems afterall.
Honestly, there is a major difference between lack of knowledge or skill and arrogance. In dealing with people, I believe it is gracious to make room for people who don’t know better to get to learn what they don’t know before we pass judgement on their failings (not on their person). Until this is exhausted and it is clear that the breakdown is not from lack of knowledge or skill, but that it is actually arrogance (knowing what is right and deliberately refusing to do it), it will be unwise to come out guns-blazing to teach people a lesson.
A man of God once told me, as a counsel on how to handle people’s misdemeanour; he said, “Akinwale, if they know better, they would do better.” I have found these words a golden rule to responding gracefully at all times. However, I am covinced that arrogance stinks! Indeed, the enemy of an arrogant fellow is God Himself. He resists such people by default.
If you lack knowledge, please learn from those who are ready and able to teach.
If you lack wisdom, please ask God to give you (James 1:5).
If your skills are not adequate, please hone them the more by offering yourself to help in that area…you will become better by doing more.
If you are arrogant, I plead with you to repent (turn around); you will be pitching your tent against God Himself. You cannot handle God being against you.
Now I am torn between asking this arrogant fellow to replace my trousers or I just stop using him altogether. How do I let this go without a response. Indeed, peace is elusive when there is no justice; how do I get justice from this fellow who has indeed taken me for granted. it seems his hardwork is a response to feed self, not really a desire to bring value.
If you are in my shoes, what do you suggest I do?