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Never Admire Quietly: Tell The People You Love That You Love Them, Tell Them Often

At least, I am not a thief, but I have stolen the title of this writeup from Chimamanda Ngozi’s speech, where she emphasises the need to always open up to those we love. She says and I quote, “Never admire quietly. Tell the people you love that you love them. Tell them often.”

And this has kept me thinking about myself; about the misery that has come with my openness—telling people how much I love them and how special they are; telling them that they are wonderful and amazing, and often reminding them that even though I am so flawed a human being, but their presence makes my life a little bearable.

Often, people have labelled me insane, for telling them exactly what I feel or think about them before knowing them better. And this is so because they hold different sentiments about my thinking; for instance, telling a Ugandan lady that she appeals to your liking on the very first day of your meeting, might earn you a slap; telling a man he’s smart or that you like his outfit might make you his mortal enemy—because society has conditioned us not to appreciate, and those we appreciate see us as a threat.

But admiring openly, or confessing to those we value that we love them is so underrated; it always comes as relief to our heavy hearts—a lucid analogy: A few months ago, I used to bypass this beautiful lady every morning I went to work; this went on and on for about six times, and in fact, I developed a thought for her, even though I knew I didn’t need her, or at least, we would never be together, since dating or using anyone to distract my pleasure had (has) never been my thing.

One morning, I decided to approach this lady whom I later knew as Maggie (not real name); I told her she was beautiful and I liked her, even though I didn’t want to either date or associate with her in any way. Jokingly, Maggie said that I was so intimidating that I grabbed the bull by the horns instead of first playing with it and softening its stony heart. But after the incident, I forgot her, and I felt better, and never again did I ever think of meeting her or even wanting to associate with her in any way—this is the energy that comes with telling people what we think of them regardless of their reaction.

It is painful that society has taught us otherwise; we perceive those who always remind us about how special we are as clingy, annoying, and foolish; we look at those who prioritise us as worthless, forgetting that genuine people, with genuine intentions, are subtle to find.

We lie to ourselves that we should only accept compliments or love confessions from those we are intimately attracted to, or close friends, even though they show no effort in putting us first on their catalogue. But I have always joked and meant it that I would go for or settle with someone who appreciates me, even when I wasn’t interested in them, because I have learnt with time that not everyone is willing to pay the price of embracing us with our imperfections.

We detest people who are always trying to support us, or people who find their world in our eyes, and instead opt for those who think our presence doesn’t matter.

I disagree with you all who think life is about detachment; living and forgetting that the rest of the world and its people exist; life is about everything, not just you; it is about lifting others by telling them they can make it; it is about praising someone, as long as they appeal to you; it is about looking in someone’s eyes, and tell them again and again that you love them, even when they dislike you—for love is soft and honest and not even tenets or people can harm it—it is what it is.

And now I will tell you why I won’t stop telling you that I love you; why I will always stare into your eyes and chant about my world that is entrapped therein; I will always tell you are special to me, and that you relieve me of the pain that weighs on me—I will always tell you this because I am uncertain of tomorrow.

I believe that each day has its sorrows and joys, and I don’t know when I will ever live to tomorrow to uplift your spirit by telling you that you mean everything to the world; I don’t know when we’ll meet again and tell you that I love you, regardless of whether we are just strangers or not—I always live each day as my last.

And so, if I ever cross a certain line that you may fix for me, only because I am not the kind of friend or lover you wish to embrace, then I am sorry to disappoint you because: I will not stop telling you that I love you; I won’t stop telling you that you are beautiful; I will not stop prioritising you by texting you every morning, or even before I go to bed; I won’t stop worshipping your name and telling the world that you mean something and everything to me.

Mr, Ms, Stranger, Brother, Sister, Friend, I will never stop expressing my gratitude or love to you; I will always say it, again and again that I love you because I refuse to admire you quietly. And, don’t you ever think of me as weak, I am only being genuine, and I challenge you today to go out there and appreciate someone; tell them they’re beautiful; tell them you love them regardless of what they think of you, after all, those we love don’t need to love us back.

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Written by Godwin Muwanguzi (1)

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