IDIOTS GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE #6. | What Company Do You Keep?


Sign #6: Idiots Surround Themselves With Idiots

From as far back as I can remember, as a kid, I was always admonished, “birds of a feather flock together” and, of course, the very famous, “show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.

The intent of these messages, and other similar ones as well, I believe, was for us kids to shun bad influences from peer groups particularly by avoiding the negative groups themselves and to choose friendships that promoted positive attributes.

Naturally, we gravitate towards people who exhibit common traits, interests and tastes with us and who do similar activities as we do. We tend to associate and congregate with these people.

Idiots are not exempted from this rule

One sign of an idiot is the level of dedication with which they seek other idiots.

This confluence of idiots, desperately seeking to outdo themselves in their display of idiocy, will tell them what they want to hear; gleefully argue with them about insensible things; facilitate the wasting and killing of precious time; encourage them to complain about problems they have never thought of solving; drag them to failure [I heard that failure, to some people, becomes more acceptable when they discover that “other people failed too”. This is particularly true of idiots].

Perhaps the most important function of the support system which an idiot builds around himself is that it fosters a mutual scoff at wisdom and lends credibility to inanity.

If a non-idiot chances upon such a congregation, he has two options really- to join them in their hearty feast of folly and risk being infected by the idiot bug or to simply walk away. If he dares attempt to teach sound knowledge, he will be promptly dealt with. He will receive the severest tongue-lashing of his one life and, if care is not taken, this wise man may begin to think that perhaps he is the idiot. If a single idiot is hard to convince, think of the miracle it will take for a congregation of idiots.

I think this is the most revealing sign of an idiot for a very valid reason.

Arguably, the easiest way to pick up, maintain and/or propagate a practice is through groups. If you want to pick up a trait, you mingle with persons who exhibit that particular trait. If you want to be wise, you mix with people who are wise. Simple and basic.

An idiot has a higher chance of being redeemed from his idiocy when he mixes with wise people than he does if he remains in the Idiot Union. If a person repeatedly exhibits idiotic tendencies, it is very likely because he is frequently within a system with a powerful force field of idiocy and which encourages the display of such.

There are many things one can do to stop being an idiot but the most important one, I believe, is to consciously begin to avoid other idiots. This, sometimes, may be quite difficult but it is a needful lesson we all must learn and apply in life. After all, who loves to lose a friend, especially a long time friend?

But I have learnt that as we grow, some associations must change. If we are not headed in the same direction, then what on earth are we doing in the same boat?

That you were important in my past does not necessarily mean that you would be instrumental in my future.

It doesn’t mean I hate you or that I would stop talking with you. No. It just means that I would spend very, very little time being around you. Destiny is calling. I must heed. Goodbye.

If an idiot says he wants to be wise, but remains in the Idiot Union, he just likes the sound of his voice and is only in love with the idea of being wise.

Show me a consistent, unrepentant idiot, and I will tell you who his friends are.

Akpoveta Valentine ‘t

Kineto Leadership Coach

He has served severally in Leadership Capacities in various Organizations and is a contributor to several Print and Web Media.  He is also passionate about nation-building. His pastimes include Critical Thinking, Reading, Group Discussions, Net Surfing and Writing. You can connect with him On Facebook.

Once Upon A Relationship



Once, my mom asked me “who is your best friend?” I mentioned one girlfriend’s name that i wasn’t even sure of.

When i was in secondary school, i met a girl at an holiday lesson into JSS1 and we became friends, we sat next to each other in class and kept malice on irrelevancies for hundred years; make up, break up. Call it a child’s play now. Years later, i tried to build the connection on Facebook but to no avail.

In primary school, i had a girl friend called Aishat.

We went to school together, we had our clashes one time, i can remember vividly but what ended the relationship was when i moved or was it when she moved and we graduated into secondary school? Today, i cannot find her even though i tried. Aisha, wherever you are, I remember you and I hope you do to.
The only friend i found from my past is on facebook, she is cool and all but the ties are lost. We look at each other from afar. Let me call it passed friendship memories.

A close family member told me one day “you have plenty friends, most of whom are guys, but who is your best friend?” I had never thought of who my best friend was until this. The problem i have with the term best friend is determining exactly who my bestfriend is or what a best friend means. Another problem is never having a best friend that “stayed”

I realised that people can never be perfect and there is that one unique feature or connection you will find in people that would either make them a real pal, friend or best.This is a score i have settled within. The thought of best friend had never really OCCURRED to me. When i moved to another secondary school, i THOUGHT i had a (real) friend, i never thought about BEST friend. For me, i think best friends are supposed to be ‘perfect'( not perfect perfect) for the mutual relationship, and very close.
Should i then call my boyfriend my best friend or some guy that is a friend? What about a girl that is a best? What exactly defines a best friend?

Growing up, i never allowed any one “close” to that point of BEST friend because it wasn’t in my dictionary. Until i brought myself to the realisation that there is INDEED something called best friend, in my entire life, i never had a best friend. There was a time i was considering a friend as a best friend but then she did something that hurt me so bad that i had to say a best friend ought not to do such. It hurt me to think that I couldn’t do such so why should she? After everything. But i didn’t have a choice, she may not even come to the realisation of her wrongs, she is human and humans are flawed. Didn’t they say it is only a friend you have quarreled with that’s a real friend?

I have people, especially guys who call me their best pal but i had never thought to categorize them as one. Would i call them acquaintances or just friends?

Most times, i meet nice people that i flow with, if we could stay for some more, we may become best pals but we never stay. Perhaps the separation of distance( i have this a lot) coupled with my “private, don’t come close” mentality have weeded away any potential best friend. I met a friend that i liked in one state, we tried to make it work afterwards, well i tried, can’t say for her but it didn’t work. I met a whole lot more on socials, it stays there, nothing more.

Also, i have noticed that in life, we build and loose relationships, we meet different people for different purposes everyday. Some will not stay, others will, maybe not now but some day. Yes. There are friends i made yesterday that are still with me today and some gone. Few, a watch or glance from afar saying “i see you”. But the idea of a best friend is another new venture for me entirely. I can only boast of one, maybe

There are still some people you have to let go. Consider making very good friends in some place and later got separated by distance or work or something. It is up to you and your friend(s) to MAKE it work. If you value love and friendship, you will make it work. You will make calls and go distances, you will text and throw get together or parties, you will check up on others and be the best for them and all. If all these and even more are lacking, giving how hard i tried to make it work, should i still value such relationships closer or farther? No. I move on ( see why best friend never occurred to me?). I find it funny and difficult to “pursue” friends( especially those i like )who are unwilling, i see it as devaluing or to cut off the friendship chain built up from the start.

I made a friend while in camp, we had our beds close to each other and came to camp together. It was a nice connection, we even discovered we attended the same school. Unfortunately, we were separated by platoon. She made new friends, spent more time with them and forgot our relationship. I made new friends as well but never forgot her. I couldn’t, we still sleep close to each other. At first, i wasn’t happy about she forgetting the relationship. I value love and friendship. Someone said i should try and join her group of new friends. I tried by  going that far to join them in their hangouts one day, that’s after several attempts to “pursue” my supposed friend, asking her whereabouts and eventually not being able to locate her. I took it hook, line and sinker and started to spend more time with my new friends( that’s because it was more of a duty as a member of a group), i also spent time with some platoon members i made friends with, especially one girlfriend like that.  After camp, i still pursued this girlfriend of mine, never forgetting others and  got to the point of telling her that she doesn’t care and then i gave up; I gave her space. If i value you and you don’t value me, am sorry, we cannot be friends, no best friend allowed even so. Better to turn an acquaintance, we say hello,  On Facebook.

I am not a “follow me i follow you person” i value people because i love them and see qualities in them, taking them for who they are. I can not force myself on someone and vice versa. Friendship or building relationships is not by force. We loose one to gain another. There are reasons for that.

If you have people around you that do not “care” or value your friendship, give yourself a break and move on. Moving on could be anything. You stay off, you watch from a distance, you cut off …. Anything that goes for you. Better than to be clogged in some unhealthy relationships. My sister had issues with a girl from her church whom she had tried to make friends with but she kept being pushed away. I told her “you are unique and must not force yourself to be anyone’s friend. Leave the girl and move on. Say hello and bye.

Relationships are to be valued. If it is not. Say Hello and Bye.

We loose one and gain another.
We build one and gain forever.

So for those of you who tag along the borders of cringy and unhealthy relationships all in the name of best friend or friendship sake, I am sure you know what you are doing. But most importantly, value yourself and then weigh the value your friend(s) place on you. If it’s not okay, you know what to do. If it’s okay, you know what to do as well. If you do not know what to do, you are on your own and may God help you. 

Watch out for the next sequel, perhaps by then, God would have answered your prayers.