Before You Call Your Uncle Stingy
In the post, You Need Your Uncle’s Help, I explained that your uncles (essentially all your relations) could be of help to you and give you leverages that you may not easily get on a normal day. You should, therefore, position yourself to receive help from them. However, it’s not all the time that you will be able to get help from them and that’s why some people call their relations stingy and all kinds of names. But before you call your uncle stingy or wicked for not helping you, I want to dedicate, Youth Mentor this week to show you some life truths about your uncle supposed stinginess or wickedness.
He May be Incapacitated
Usually, when you see an uncle you desire help from, you estimate how much he has and how much you can get from him; but the truth is that while your estimation of his worth of power or wealth may be correct, your estimation of how much you can get from him may be very wrong. The reason is that he may worth what you estimate; but is incapacitated to help you and as far as helping you is concerned; what matters is how much he can release to you, not how much he has.
Also, your uncle may be in a position of authority which you think he can use to help you; but is incapacitated to help you because there are laws and ethics that may hinder him from helping you. As an example, he may not want to request the favour you need from him from his colleague because he doesn’t want to ask for favour he may not be able to return. Also, if the help you desire from him requires that he does something illegal, like other people’s uncle do, to be able to help you, he may not do that if he is an upright person.
Similarly, your uncle may actually want to help you from his heart; but is incapacitated by a situation beyond his control. He may have planned to help you with some money but due to job loss, low patronage from clients or even an emergency is his family, he is be incapacitated. His failure to help you is not because he is a wicked uncle; but because his hands are tied.
It’s equally possible you have an exaggerated view of your uncle. That’s you think he is bigger than who he really is and so expect so much from him. Let me explain. The fact that your uncle works in CBN doesn’t mean he gets huge pay; it simply means he has a job and may not even earn as much as some of those that don’t work in big organizations. So, if you expect lots of money from him, you will have heartbreaks; not because he is stingy or wicked; but simply because you have an over-bloated view of your him.
The fact that your uncle works with the governor or is an associate of the Minister of Education does not mean he has the capacity to get you a lecturing job or secure admission for your child. But if you accord him the power he doesn’t have and he fails to help, you will feel he is stingy or just wicked. He is not; you are the one that thinks too highly of him than you ought to.
He Has His Own Troubles
Another thing you need to understand about your uncle is that he has his own headache and helping you may not be one of them. You feel he is comfortable because he has a house of his own, has a car and some of the things you only dream to have; but that’s not what he thinks.
For him, want a new car, he wants his 6-year-old child to go to N70,000 primary school and a better neighbourhood and they are a serious matter to him. You may think them inconsequential when compared to the fact that you are begging him to help you go to school or get a job, but he doesn’t think so.
I understand that your education is very important to you and you actually want a job or connection badly from your uncle; but I want you to equally bear in mind that he considers his having a luxury car, getting higher education to help him rise in his career and a befitting apartment is equally important to him. They are as much a headache to him as your school fee is to you.
Just for clarity, I don’t think spending on certain kind of luxury like paying 70k for a primary school pupil when good and more affordable ones are available when you have relations you need to give a lift in life are not helped. What I prefer is to deny myself some luxury so that those relations will be fine and independent; not having an adult depends on me forever. However, I want you to make allowance for such a lifestyle for your uncles because that helps not to get angry with them. It saves you from heartbreak when they prefer luxury to helping you.
So, as you seek help of any kind from your uncles, please be expectant; but at the same time, recognize that they have their own troubles and the help you are seeking may not be one of the first forty on their list. When they fail to help you because of their pressing needs and troubles they equally face, please don’t label them stingy. It’s not their fault.
You Are Not Their Responsibility
Before you call your uncle stingy for not helping you, recognize that they have responsibilities and you may not be you one of them. When they want to spend their resources or use the connections they have, they are have priorities; they don’t just give to anybody that ask from them.
You may think that you are his responsibility because you are related to him or your parents have helped him, but that’s not what he thinks. So, no matter how close you are to your uncle, please convince yourself that you are not his responsibility; unless they take that job role and communicate that to you. This mindset helps you approach them for help with humility; not an entitlement. It equally keeps you from possible heartbreaks in the event that they choose not to help you.
Just like some people do, you may have closely considered your uncle’s job or business and so feel he has the capacity to help you, but know that he has a responsibility which may gulp the chuck of what he earns that it may not extend to you. As people grow in life, so does their needs and responsibilities. His family is his primary responsibility and until the members are attended to, you should not expect so much from him.
Meanwhile, before you start calculating how much your uncle earns and accusing him of being stingy, please recognize that it’s his money not yours. He has the right to shred it and flash down the toilet. Yes, you heard me right: It’s not your money; it’s his!
“Brojid, are you supporting stingy uncles? In fact, are you sure you are not a stingy uncle?”
No. Not at all. However, I don’t have the capacity to put my confidence on any uncle. Even when I feel like asking them for any favour, my mental conditioning is this: if God chooses to use you to help me, you will release the help and if he doesn’t chose you, nothing go drop. So, if he decides to use the money to carry girls or buy human hair when I am just begging for small money to eat, I don’t start hating him! That’s why I can’t start estimating how much he is earning and the crumb he should have just allowed to fall under the table for me to pick.
My uncle is not God and he is at best, a tool in God’s hand, not the source of my needs! So, when he doesn’t come forth with help, I go to the Oga Kapkata Kapata, God, and the Almighty Helpful and talk to him about my matter.
God is Not Helping You
In fact, it’s possible that your uncle is not helping you because God has withheld his help from you. I believe in the supernatural and for me, the saying, “The spiritual controls the physical.” is not a Christian cliché; but a matter of fact of life. If your uncle has the capacity to help you but is not doing that yet, chances are that God has restrained him from helping you.
I believe that the heart of every creature is in God’s hand and he turns it in whichever direction He wishes to. Some uncles may have all it takes to help, but simply refuse because God hardened their heart or made them not to believe in your story so as to help you.
God has a plan and will for your life and if the help you want from your uncle will keep you from achieving real success He wills for you; out of love for you, God can harden his heart so that he won’t offer you the help you desire. Or God can put him in a situation where he can’t help you, no matter how hard he tries.
At the risk of sounding like a preacher man, no man can help you when God hasn’t helped you. No matter how nice, powerful and rich your uncle is, he can’t help you unless God allow him. (Lam 3:37) That’s why I tell you, when God helps you, your uncle can’t help but help you.
As you seek help from your uncle or even anybody, I want you to live with this mindset: “Do the skies (an uncle) themselves send down showers (help)? No, it is you, LORD our God. Therefore our hope is in you, FOR YOU ARE THE ONE WHO DOES ALL THIS.” Jer. 14:22
Therefore, when you have a need for any form of help from your uncle or anybody, declare to yourself, “I look up toward the mountains(my uncles and fathers friends). Will my help come there? MY HELP COMES FROM THE LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.
So, when you go to your uncle for help, see him as an agent of God whom God can use or decide not to use. If he helps you, thank him out of courtesy and gratitude; but return all the praise to God who MADE him help you. In the same vein, when he decides not to help, please control your emotion not to be too angry with him. Jejely go back to God and ask him for the agent he has released your help in his hand. Chikena!
God has put us in families for support and that’s why you should take advantage of it for your growth. However, there are times when you seek help from your family member without getting it. Don’t be quick to call the one that didn’t help stingy; he may have been incapacitated!