On fleek? What does it mean….well it’s a phrase often used to describe something that is extremely good, attractive or stylish; this can range from hash browns to hair to eyebrows. It is most commonly associated with perfectly groomed eyebrows! A few examples: “Beard game on fleek,” “My body is beat but my eyebrows are on fleek”and my fav “When her jollof is on fleek.”
However I am not going to indulge you with a blog on
eyebrows, jollof or beards today – maybe another time! What I want to talk about is our life…wait no – our living standards. Yes standards. If we were to pick up a magnifying glass and look at our lives, what would we see? Would we see ourselves copying what we see on TV, or what our friends do or even what our parents do? Ok let me get more specifc – what influences your standard of living? Is it your family upbringing, your faith, culture or what society has taught or a mixture? This is an important question to ask yourself because in a world constantly trying to manipulate your character, you need to know who you are and what you stand for.
This life is full of challenges and challenging people but regardless of that, our standard of living should not shift with it, that should be the one constant in a changing world. Two people of integrity (there are many of course but I just picked two – no wahala please!), whose standard of living wasn’t shaken by circumstances or people were Mahtma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln. Here are their anecdotes!
“This involves a young mother who brought her young boy to meet the great man. She asked Gandhi to tell the boy never to eat sugar because of its effects on his health and teeth. Gandhi refused, instead asking the mother to bring the boy again 30 days later. When she returned, Gandhi did as she wished, telling the boy to stay away from sugar. The mother wondered why Gandhi had not just done that on the first visit, and Gandhi replied that he had still been eating sugar at their first visit and did not feel comfortable telling others to abstain from something that he enjoyed.
President Lincoln is lauded for his integrity, particularly regarding his management of the Civil War. All his decisions sprang from his belief that maintaining the American form of government, as expressed through the Union, was vital. His refusal to deal with dishonest people was just an extension of that natural integrity.”
Having a standard of living doesn’t necessarily pertain to the materialistic side for example only sleeping in a bed with Egyptian cotton or driving a car if it’s a Mercedes Benz. Although that is nice O! I’m not a hater of those things but it’s not what I’m getting at. What I mean is, if you were to enter a working environment where there was a dishonest and cheating nature, would your standard of honesty and integrity drop or would the bar remain firmly high? Or if you grew up not swearing and found it uncomfortable or rude to do so, would you suddenly forget that once with friends or new course-mates?
“Quality consciousness is setting higher standards for yourself than what the world has set for you.” Mahatria
I have a few action points to help you reflect (i’m speaking to myself also), the struggle is real but with God’s help, it is possible to live a life that is “On Fleek”. A life that is pleasing to us and to God.
1. Do you know what influences your standards?
It is very important to know what influences your living standards so you understand why you believe what you believe and why it is important to preserve. I would say my Christian faith influences my standard of living, my epitome of good living is reflected in the life of Jesus Christ and so I emulate Him.
2. Do you!
So you have set a standard for your life; be it your diet, choice of vocabulary, dressing, conduct…whatever, you have set a standard to live by. So do it! Regardless of what Bob across the road says or Becky with the good hair chirps, stay true to yourself and your values. I believe once the choice is yours, your choice of living will be much easier as it is a journey you started rather than a journey you were paid to join or cajoled to join.
3. What forms cracks in your standards?
Can you identify anything in your life that can attack or form cracks in your living standards? Is it your set of friends, your working environment or even your family? If so, is it something you can manage or is a change required? Living standards can be difficult enough to uphold, without additional friction from external sources.
4. How can we sustain our living standards?
Our living standards are just that – OURS! So they are our responsibility, no-one will tell you how you should live BUT even if they do, you don’t have to listen to them! When we set living standards for ourselves, deciding on a way to happily live our lives then we must commit to it. All or Nothing Rule – like an Action Potential in a neuron. Sorry – Bio Geek! When we surround ourselves with people who are like-minded; choose not to be intimidated by those whose living standards are different and remember why we made this choice in the first place, should help.
Life is a journey and we are the leaders of it however the paths we choose and how we travel along those paths, is up to us. Choose wisely and run with it!