– The Sun News

Overcoming a servile mentality

Grovelling, shaking or involuntary exhibition of nervousness before the boss is a clear evidence that you have a servile mentality.

Ladi Ayodeji

A spirit of fear is the motivating force behind a servile (or slave) mentality. By “spirit” I am not referring to the supernatural, but an attitude. “Servile” speaks of timidity, lack of self-confidence, and needless phobia over the least of threats. Most of our public vehicle drivers have this mentality. When traffic police or a road safety officer says, “Stop there!” They jump out of their vehicle, begin to shiver or prostate, and start begging, even when no charge has been brought against them. Isn’t that foolish?

Our public vehicle drivers behave this way because their vehicle particulars are rarely ever regular, nor are their vehicles in a road-worthy condition, hence the fear that the corrupt law officer would definitely take advantage of that to extort money from them. In exceptional cases where their road licenses are in order, the drivers would still cringe before the law officer because, being illiterate, they do not know their legal rights.

Grovelling, shaking or involuntary exhibition of nervousness before the boss is a clear evidence that you have a servile mentality. It is a complex you must get rid of immediately, because you cannot succeed with such an attitude. Anyone with an ounce of intelligence knows that a spirit of fear can be visible in the face of a staff that stands before his superiors, especially a top executive with a brash disposition. Such employees are forever living in fear of being sacked, even when in reality no such action is in view.

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Sometimes, this servile attitude is imposed on conquered peoples because of superstition or myth. Some of such people live under the bondage of caste, like Indian harisjans (untouchables), Igbo osu, etc. It is cruel for anyone to subject people to any form of slavery today because the Constitution guarantees all of us equal right to life. Don’t let anyone intimidate you. If your boss summons you, look at him in the eyes and answer confidently: here I am, sir. Give him all the due respect but take his orders calmly and carry them out with dignity, even, if you are a janitor.

The fact that you are doing a menial job does not mean you are unfortunate, or a rejected individual. Without health workers in the mortuaries, cemeteries, gutters, toilets, who keep our environment in good sanitary condition, epidemics would consume society. All workers deserve to be proud of their jobs, no matter what they do. There is dignity in labour, whether blue or white-collar jobs.

Don’t feel inferior because some folks say you do a lowly-paid job. You are better than beggars who live on alms. If you are talking to anyone, even if he is the President of your country, accord him his due respect, but look him straight in the eye and speak with confidence. The presidency is just a job. You can actually sack your President by voting him out. All public servants, including the law officers who harass you, are your employees. They earn their pay from your taxes and our collective natural resources.

A servile mind cannot aspire, being held down by fear, and we know that fear is a torment. Reject this hindering spirit. Be assertive, don’t be put down by your peers or humiliated by your superiors. You, too, can climb the ladder of success like everyone.

READ ALSO: The decline and fall of civil behaviour (II)

Our own Aliko Dangote was a struggling businessman in 1977. Today, he is Africa’s richest man. Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija ran a fashion house, Supreme Stiches, in the 1980s. She is Africa’s richest woman at the time of writing this. By God’s grace, someday, I hope to be Africa’s greatest author and field evangelist. You can become what you want to become. Be bold. Cast away that timid spirit. Develop your mind by reading life-changing books, and listening to good preachers, or motivators.

READ ALSO: Suicide as emotional Bermuda triangle

Some people believe that they are not good enough to be the best. They are grateful to be second best. They think it is okay to be average. They just want to get by, I tell you that is a timid spirit. Some cannot dream of living in choice locations in Lagos like Banana Island, Victoria Garden City, Maitama in Abuja or GRA Ikeja.

They are satisfied with a one-room apartment or, at best a two-bedroom flat in a slum area. They say: “I can’t afford expensive homes.” That is defeatist, it is not a sin to aspire to be rich. It is not a sin because “money answereth all things,” says the bible.

Don’t settle for less. Out of more than 200 private jet owners in Nigeria, only five pastors are among them and people are screaming. So, it is only businessmen that are entitled to own jets? It is an inferiority complex for Christians to think like that. If a pastor buys a jet with his own money, or his church buys it for him, glory be to God. I don’t envy them. Living well is not a sin, it is a choice, a legitimate lifestyle. How you spend your money is not my business, so long as you earned it legally and pay your taxes. Never think low of yourself. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, with all the people in it. And God has given it (earth) to the sons of men, according to the bible. So take charge and fear not.

Weekend Spice: Talk to those who work for you the same way you want your boss to talk to you. – Larry King

OK folks, thanks again for being here. Stay motivated.

• Ladi Ayodeji is an author, rights activist, pastor and life coach. He can be reached on 09059243004 (SMS & WhatsApp only)

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Tokunbo David
Tokunbo David

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