“Nwanne i di sharp!” (ibo)
“Bros you sharp oh!”(pigin English)
(Translation: Boy you’re sharp)
“He’s as sharp as a blade.”
At some point in our evolution we (humans) subconsciously decided to start a character-fashion trend and thus, the sharp species was born. It was no longer acceptable to just be you, to work at your own pace; NO not acceptable. Everyone had to be sociable, witty, quick on their feet, shooting laser retorts ahead of unformed questions. The trend in itself isn’t wrong, but as with everything in life it took a turn round the wrong corner: the Machiavellian corner where anything can be done and applauded as right as long as it gets the results. Thus, the phrase ‘he/she is as sharp as …’ is often echoed by individuals admiring another who by some means has outsmarted the laws, authorities, wriggled out of an emotional or potentially tenuous situation. As stated earlier the means to this supposed victory is totally ignored or made to seem insignificant. Is it wrong to be sharp? No; however, being sharp by compulsion does have certain side effects.
It places an undue pressure on you to always have speedy retorts and answers. Sometimes forcing you to promise more than you can deliver, this could lead to outright lies which help you wriggle out of seemingly difficult circumstances. This does not mean that every immediate reaction or retort is negative but a common failing of wanting to appear sharp all the time might mean being less than honest, less vulnerable, less honest with yourself and with others.
“When you’re a liar, a person of low moral fortitude, really any explanation you need to be true can be true, especially if you’re smart enough. You can figure out a way to justify anything.” Samuel Witwer
Sharp people overtime get very cocky, at the same time they become very scared of failure and how such an outcome would reflect on them.
“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” Bill Gates.
While, the above quote refers to smart people I think it also applies to people who dub themselves to be sharp. Being sharp in the sense this article addresses also limits your personality, you end up acting in a particular way all the time.
“Some smart man once said that on the most exalted throne in the world, we are seated on nothing but our own arse.” Wendell Mayes
If your quest to be sharp is driven by a desire to stay one step ahead, it might be worth remembering the above quote. I believe it would help keep you centered, ensuring you don’t stray into the intoxicating land of arrogance and slander. Slander, now that’s another side effect of being sharp; you start to talk down on other people, to view their achievements as second to yours, with a tendency to magnify yours.
I consider the loss of potential friends or opportunities the most depreciating consequence of being sharp. This attitude makes us treat people and relationships mostly as tools for advancement. It also places a lot of stress on the individual to always being in form, remember words said in haste and being unable to do/ un-say certain things often comes at a price more expensive than money can replace.
Please don’t get me wrong being sharp isn’t wrong, but when it takes over all your traits and motivates all your actions perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate. Don’t get so sharp you end-up cutting yourself and those around you.
Thank you Eli for letting me share your words.
Both posters were made by me.