Home ENWONGO'S POINT OF VIEW Enwongo’s Point of View (Episode 7): A Little Constructive Criticism Does Not...

Enwongo’s Point of View (Episode 7): A Little Constructive Criticism Does Not Hurt.


Some of us are becoming ‘messier’ because we don’t have friends or people who don’t mind letting us know when we are out of the line, hurting others, doing something wrong or just hurting ourselves.

One of the things that my best friend told me when people started paying attention to the things I said/wrote was, “I hope you never get carried away and become blind to your mistakes/faults just because you have people applauding you for them”.

Sincerely, the day he told me this, I was offended and I did not find it funny – but many times over the years, that honest conversation has kept me in check/grounded.

2015, I had this prayer that kept sitting on my lips after law school.

I used to speak it daily and I wrote it down in my journal.

That prayer was, ‘Lord, may I never have friends who will [egg me on] when I’m wrong and who will never correct my mistakes and redirect me when I miss my steps’.

I can’t remember what motivated that prayer but I think it was an experience my dad had that put it in my heart.

Lately I’ve had a lot of thoughts about many things and everyday, I feel an immense gratitude for the friends/people who don’t hesitate to spell out my wrongs, lay them out without sugarcoating it and who correct my mistakes.

I don’t know but it’s actually a very scary thing to go through life with people who don’t make you face the not-so-tiny things you may feel uncomfortable admitting to yourself.

If the people in your life don’t help you deal with your shortcomings, in the long run, you will be full of regrets for the many missed opportunities that you would have been pruned, reshaped and refined.

My dad used to say in ibibio something that when translated goes this way, “if you are shielded from confronting your little wrongs or learning the lessons from your mistakes today, one day a very big one will sink you and you may never come up again”. (It actually is a funny saying about big and small masquerades)

We may not like it – because it is not enjoyable or sweet – but we need people(friends) who are bold enough to tell us where we mis-step and guide us back.

We need friends who don’t ‘economise’ the truth. We need people who will help us grow and become better.

If you have such people never take them for granted. You don’t know the many things you are saved from, things that will stand in your way tomorrow. ‎

One of the many things I’ve learnt from this life is that you can love a person and still be critical of their actions and the things they do, because you want to see them do better and shine brighter.

Correction doesn’t equate hate. Love doesn’t stop at watering, it also involves weeding and pruning.‎