Remain kind regardless of challenges

Toluwalase Solomon, Columnist

There is no charm like tenderness of the heart.

Charm here may mean and represent two different phenomena or ideas. First, it may refer to that charming nature that is so powerful to attract people because of their unique, kind hearts.

Second, from the perspective of Yorùbá cultural interpretation, charm—also known as “Ogun Ibile”—is like traditional medicine made of plants, herbs and leaves to cure stress, anxiety and other spiritual warfare.

The term tenderness may imply humanity, kindliness, concern and sympathy. This may serve as natural antidotes equivalent to two powerful phenomena of attraction and be the divine key to solving and conquering life obstacles.

Speaking from the standpoint of a Yoruba man: Òwe is a speech form that likens one thing or situation to another. Òwe, widely known as proverbs, is a great deal in the Yoruba culture, and it is often deduced from close observation of life, life forms and their characteristics, the environment and natural phenomena.”

For example, an òwe says ‘’Inu rere lo n ko ni yo.”

In connection to the notion of natural antidote, this proverb implies that your good mind to others is the key to endure and conquer all life obstacles.

The concept of character is also referred to by Yoruba as “IWA,” a set of qualities that make somebody distinctively interesting or attractive, especially somebody’s qualities of mind and feelings.

As humans, we are all bound to face life obstacles, but the most important questions we should ask ourselves is if those obstacles have made us become bitter or better individuals in the society.

From experience, I understand that it is very challenging to maintain poise, strength and tenderness because of the implications and discouragement of the preconceived notions and prejudices that seem undetectable from our racial, social and cultural identities.

These challenges may be tough to overcome because of the psychological effects the reified connotations of our identities.

Instead of becoming bitter, it is more beneficial to be creative and turns those obstacles into a stepping-stone to become a better person. The concept of the attractive and medicinal nature of tenderness can help contribute to the wellbeing of the society. The wellbeing of a society is grossly dependent on the peace and unity maintained by every individual component of the community while engaging in social interactions.

The wellbeing may only be achieved if we keep up the good deeds, respect other people’s values and cherish the small things like putting a smile on people’s faces.

In conclusion, tenderness is free of coercion and it requires no price but can be a great tool for shared humanity and antidote to get through life obstacles.

Toluwalase Solomon is a grad student in communication studies. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].