The “I” Syndrome, a Killer Disease

Eucharia Oti

“ Individually, we are a drop,  together, we are an Ocean”. –   Ryunosuke Satolo. 

The letter I, as we all know, is a personal pronoun (1st person), which is used to address self ; while other pronouns, such as, he, she, they, we, you, etc;  are used to address others. 

It also has other grammatical  variants  such as, me, my, and myself,  which are carriers of  subjective trait. This self romance which “I” enjoys makes it difficult for it to  align to team relationships; this is why , an ‘ I” person is always talking about,  me, myself, I, even when reporting a group work. 

Relationship is what makes the world thick. That is why the phrase, “ The  world is  a global village “ is gaining much grounds.  This simply means that, people are now connected by easy travels, electronic communications, mass media, etc. In fact, the world has successfully brought every race, gender, and tribe, under one single community. For the world to attain this level of development, it was not a single/ individual effort. It was not an “ I “ thing. Rather, it was a relationship, cum  network thing. A chain of connectivity. Every  you, we, them, they,  he, she etc, came together to form this formidable village.

The popular saying, “ A tree cannot not make a forest “ implies that an “ I “ person, is  like a lone child.  No matter the height, and width of an Iroko tree, as long as it is standing alone in a space of land, it can never be addressed as a forest.  Henry Ford   put it thus , “ Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together, is success”. 

What I am trying to say is that, no single human being knows it all. No man can succeed all by himself. A man cannot bury himself, without risking  one of his hands outside, or exposed. We really need each other to succeed in life. This is why, even Professors of different academic fields, still get proof readers to be a second eye, before they publish any book.

I have seen, heard, and read about homes, where husbands see it as an anomaly, or do I say, an  aberration,  for their wives to know about their businesses/ finances, or even be part of some decisions making in their home. They singularly, run their homes, without any input from the wife, let alone the children. Many bank accounts, and investments are  hidden from the knowledge of the immediate family. The last time I checked, I do not know how many of such men, their families were able to lay  a finger  on the monies they stalked in the banks, nor discovered their hidden assets , after their demise. 

 This ugly trait has made trust to flee from such homes. Secrecy becomes the order of the home. In the words of Steve Covey, “ Without trust we don’t truly collaborate; we merely coordinate, or, at best, cooperate. It is trust that transforms a group of people into a team “. Let me add here, or merely  co exist. That is what one gets, whenever trust takes its flee.  The wife in a bid to secure her future in case of the unexpected, becomes a pathological liar, and  thief in her home. She steals from her husband to save for herself, and her children.  She tells lies, in order to corner some money. This places the home of the “ I “ husband,  on the wobbling legs, of  the letter “ I “. 

From the tendencies above,  one can deduce that , many “ I “ men, have directly, out of ego, cum selfishness, boosted the end of year profit declarations of the bank(s), while the families they left behind,  wallow in abject poverty; because they can neither  access the monies in the bank( s), nor, his  assets. The question is, should it be like this?

The cliche, “what a man can do, a woman can even do better “,  comes into play here. Even in the “ women kingdom “, such nocturnal tendencies also applies. I have heard women teach , or do I say indoctrinate fellow women convincingly, not to declare all their incomes to their husbands. This teaching is however based on personal experiences. The day I presented a paper to a women’s group in a church on the dangers of hiding ones finances from ones husband, and children, I encountered reactions that made me ask , the impact Christianity is making in our families? This group of women, who have been infected by this “ I “ syndrome  ravaging their husbands and in a bid to revenge, ends up  nurturing the syndrome  to fester. It is heart breaking to hear some women open up at a slightest opportunity, on what they suffer in the hands of their husbands, both the rich, and the average. 

Though we know that some women have their own issues, some do not deserve what they are passing  through.  After robbing minds with them, I did not however, fail to tell them the truth they needed to know about management of husband, and wife, finances.  Many of them gave reasons why they do not declare their income to their husbands. Some of the reasons  are:

*Their husband do not disclose their income to them, so they too keep their own, to themselves. 

*Their husbands do not take care of their parents, and siblings, so, they save to do that without their knowledge.

*Their husbands spends on strange women, and do not care for them.

*Their husbands steal their monies.

*Their husbands make unnecessary demands of money any time they see money in their hands.

*Their husbands do not give enough money for house up keep, and so many other reasons.

As we know, there is always the tendency of exaggerating any copied habit. So, when this group of women gets infected by this “ I” syndrome, they take it to another level, and the evil will continue to spread  in the family. 

Coming down to the society, we have the church leadership, political leadership, community leadership etc. In these areas, any careful observer would have also noticed the devastating impact of the “ I” syndrome. A situation, where a leader is everything, and everybody. This has always generated problems. bickerings, and disloyalty becomes the order of the day. A leader, who lacks the “we “ approach, should be ready to  embrace disloyalty . A team leader always has a winning team. According to Micheal Jordan, “ Talent win games, but teamwork, and intelligence wins championships “. Also put, “ two heads are better than one “. This simply implies that, a decision of one man, cannot be equalled to that of a group.  Mattie Steparek puts it this way, “ Unity is strenght. When there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved” . 

T      Together

E      Everyone

A      Achieves

M      More

As we embrace the spirit of team work, we are sure to achieve a lot for our homes, churches, and community. The “ I” syndrome is a killer disease, flee from it .

Happy Christmas to all Umu Aro Okeigbo ! !

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