Am I Your Mate?

Has anyone ever asked you this question – am I your mate? I have been asked this question several times, but in a very funny and sarcastic environment.

If you are asked this question in any other environment outside of fun, please pause and reflex before you reply. Let me share with you a few stories about what these question can mean.

“Am I your mate?”

In 2009, I ran, like every other person to secure a seat in a lecture hall, I was still a student at Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. When we got into the hall, a class was in ongoing.

One of my colleagues stylishly entered the class and he was caught by the lecturer. He became angry and asked my colleague to get out. My colleague was reluctant, as he was tired from the necessary running.

The lecturer raised his voice, he said “I asked you to get out. Do you think I am joking, am I your mate?”

“Am I your mate?”

I had a neighbour a few years ago, such a lovely and generous family. A nature will have it, the husband got pissed with the wife on a very bright morning.

The next question that spilled off his lips, like a running tap was, “how can you talk to me like that, am I your mate?”

“Am I your mate?”

I thought that was all, until I stumbled on a video online, where there was a shouting and angry match between a military officer and a mobile policeman in Nigeria.

There was hectic traffic, a mobile policeman was lawfully carrying out his duties – directing the vehicles to control the traffic, but a military officer tried to lawlessly beat the traffic. The lawful guy was trying to stop the officer from breaking the law and order.

What did he get in return? – “am I your mate? Is my rank and yours the same?”

You get this question when an annoyed referee echoes it to the ears of the disrespectful football players – am I your mate? You will hear it when a furious colleague questions the authoritative statement of her line manager – am I your mate?

I have heard this phrase too often and I observed something interesting about when it is usually used.

  1. When someone is angry.
  2. When people are trying to forcefully demand respect or a specific result.
  3. When someone is trying to remind another person of their superiority/seniority.

I agree that everyone likes to be respected and held in high esteem. I love it too and it is a worthy and lofty desire. Any time we don’t get the respect we desire, the usual reaction is that our angry gets activated in just 3 seconds.

Think about it, there must be some advantages to be born earlier than others; age is very precious to many people and several cultures. Being the boss or CEO comes with some aura. Your employee ought to respect you. You aren’t their mate. Isn’t it Ahahah… 🙂

The government has authority and if you disrespect her, you will live to share the ugly tale. Imagine, even the Government is not the citizen’s mate. Okay, we have class mates, office mates, bed mates, age mates and so on.

Really, are these mates your mate on just some levels and things get switched on other levels? For example, class mates may not be age mates, and bed mates may not be class mates.

So, who are your mates? Are they your colleagues at work? After all, you spend 8+ hours together daily. Who are your mates? Are they your allies in the brotherhood?

Who are your mates? Are they the folks in your circle of influence or friends in church groups? Who are your mates? Perhaps, someone you can bare your heart out to?

When I thought about this a little further, my conclusion is this: the most important thing is that there is always a specific level at which all of us connect – this can be easy as saying, we are all human-mate. Why don’t we simply nurture that parallel?

The struggle to define this appropriately has led to successful suicide missions. It has wrecked homes; it has helped unbearable friction to creep into great organizations.

Technically, nobody is your mate. Yeah. We all have just 1 mate. That person is YOU. That mate was born the same day, hour and second. It has the same capacity, gift and skills.

Your mate has the same experience as you, eats the same meal and has the same voice and heart. The only mate you should be ‘screaming at’ and taking a lovely glance at all year round has the same eyeball, equal DNA. Same thought pattern with identical blood vessels – that’s you.

The day you understand this, as it happened to me a few years ago, you will enter into the limelight of achieving great strides. Rather than struggle to outshine a colleague, you will understand how beautiful winning together can be.

The more we put our education into practice, the easier it becomes – we are able to have the wisdom to know that respect is sweeter when earned, that forced. We find it easier to use our gifts and skills to collaborate and create solutions that matter, rather than get angry on things that tear us apart.

The way my friend Jake Okechukwu puts it in his piece “My People” He said, ‘You can blame another tribe for your downfall, be foolish or you can suck it up and improve on yourself, be better! …and I am not your problem, you are who you are and I am who I am.’

My friend, in the true sense of it, you are in competition with no man. Live out your UNIQUENESS. Have you been thinking about how to launch your uniqueness and dreams fearlessly? Get started by clicking HERE

If you have ever used this phrase “am I your mate?” on someone, did you mean something different from the three points I listed above? I will like to read it in the comment section.

With love, #LimitlessFash.