The first time I got that request, well it wasn’t that harsh, but it might as well have been because I was shattered. I stared at Gmail like I’d just caught it cheating on my best friend.
“Why?” I imagined, “Why would anyone want to be unsubscribed from Goldinwords? This small small thing we’re doing that it’s starting to pick up noorr, you want to be unsubscribed. Oooo, Ghana people!”
So I went back to the most recent post to check if I’d betrayed someone who could be a mutual friend. Was it too steamy? Was it offensive in anyway? Did I not speak enough Twi? I mean what, where, why would this guy just want to jump ship like that?!! So well after a few hours I collected myself and replied to say I was about to do as requested. I almost added, “But ma-guy is it by force? Did I hold your hand and force you to sign up? Why must I suffer for your commitment issues?” Lol, I didn’t, but thankfully so.
It was a very difficult thing because one of my personal fears, the thing I dread the most is being a bother. I dread being the guy you have to put up with. I dread it so much I kind of understood Jonah in a completely different way. I mean seriously God, if these undeserving Ninevites were going to act like I was the problem, why bother?! Puh-lease!
So that ‘unsubscribe me’ mail just stabbed me hard because it meant I had become so much of a bother that some breda couldn’t put up with me anymore. But ah well, I did anyway and in that low state a couple of emails and several comments came through for that very same post! I mean these positive ones were all packed with energy and kindness that it numbed the effect of that one departure.
Over the years, I’ve had about a dozen more of such requests, but you know what? For each one that leaves, 50 come in. In time, my wiser self jumped to the rescue and scolded me “What’s wrong with you Ben?! You’re going to let the personal decision of a couple of people hold hostage the much larger crowd? Besides who told you this is for everybody? I can’t believe you cared so much about pleasing everyone. How can you manage that and still be true to God?”
I just sat there drawing in the sand like Jesus did when the crowd threatened to stone the adulterous woman. Only this time, my one-man crowd was hurling a truck of stones.
“So one guy wants to go so you’re morose? (giggles) Well you better brace up because more people are going to want to leave. You will write things that will seem stupid to some, too playful, immature and an attack on their secret insecurities. They will walk out on you like a jail bird. You better get ready. And not just with Goldinwords, people are going to walk out of your life and you better expect it because people are always getting off at bus stops.
Smart thing to do is never get your eyes off the big picture. Realize that if only one person in this entire universe finds value in what you do, that’s super awesome! I mean heaven is a much much much bigger deal than you Ben, but see the childish excitement that rushes through when even one sinner repents. So you better get with the program mister!”
My face was a sssttuuuupppiiidddd and I tried swallowing saliva that wasn’t there. But this realization totally reoriented me. The same way I’d rather have 25 years of pure marital bliss than 40 years of ‘Oooo Gaaaaaddd, can this woman really bee myyy rriiibb?!’, is the same way I’d rather have 100 genuine, passionate community size, than a 10,000 one with people scowling anytime a Goldinwords notification comes through. So these days I’m so quick to honor ‘Unsubscribe me’ requests. I mean you’re not done saying thank you and I already said bye. No hard feelings, it’s just that life’s too short to read all those ‘Terms & Conditions’.
That’s why there are no Goldinwords page advertisements on Facebook. Only posts are promoted, so the people who end up liking the page are spillovers from those who really like the post. And I think you should employ that mentality in your life too.
I mean if someone wants to take a walk, show them the exit with the best views. If someone wants to go that badly, make it easy for them, because the last thing you need is some disgruntled unpleasable person masquerading as a loyal friend because you’ve made it clear you cant stand breakups. Like seriously? You cant be that pathetic (see me oo, (snickering))! Why do you act like you’ve seen this movie before when you’re only now living it. The guy who wrote the script says “I know the plans I have for you, plans of good and not evil.” So clearly if this person wants to leave so badly, swipe left!
Don’t get me wrong, fight for what deserves fighting for, but be wise enough to tell the difference. Because letting a bad sore fester is welcoming an amputation. Let it go before it saps the life out of you.
On an equally serious note if you’re reading this and want to be unsubscribed from e-mail subscriptions…(long pause) #sobs, PLEASE NOOOOO!!! DOONNNNTTT GOOOOOO! Let’s work this oooouuuut. I promise to add more joooookkes. Lol. I lie. But please be real with me. I ‘d hate to have you when you so don’t want this.
So yeah, all I’m saying is; learn to be graceful about letting go of the people who must go. Then be highly expectant of their replacement. Because if for nothing at all, we serve a God who can use an egg to crack a palm kernel just to spite a stone. For sheege. Peace out!
PS: Don’t keep! Share…& then subscribe.
And let’s connect on Twitter! @benanyan