Reflections on Shallow Relationships and Lessons Learned: Post-Election Insights

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Muntaka Dabo

. By muntaka Abdul-Hadi Dabo

The events following the elections of NOUNAA in November 2023 have offered me profound insights into the nature of human connections and the complexities of interpersonal dynamics. As someone who experienced a surge in attention and communication during my tenure, only to see it dissipate once I relinquished my position, I am compelled to reflect on the transient nature of relationships and the lessons learned from this experience.

Before the elections, my days were filled with constant calls and interactions, a testament to the significance that my position held in the eyes of certain individuals. As the occupant of a leadership role within NOUNAA, it seemed that my title was a magnet for attention and admiration. However, with the conclusion of the elections and my subsequent transition out of the position, the once-frequent calls dwindled into silence, leaving me to grapple with feelings of disappointment and disillusionment.

The abrupt shift in communication patterns served as a stark reminder of the superficiality that often underlies human relationships, particularly those forged within the context of professional or organizational affiliations. It became apparent that many individuals were drawn to me not out of genuine admiration or camaraderie, but rather because of the benefits and opportunities associated with my position. Their loyalty, it seemed, was contingent upon my title, rather than on the substance of our interactions or the depth of our connection.

While initially disheartening, this realization has ultimately served as a catalyst for growth and self-reflection. It has forced me to reevaluate the nature of my relationships and to discern between genuine connections and superficial alliances. In doing so, I have come to appreciate the importance of authenticity and integrity in fostering meaningful relationships built on mutual respect and trust.

Moreover, this experience has taught me the value of humility and self-awareness. Those who have stood by me, even after my term ended, have shown me that our bond was not based on my position but on genuine care and respect for one another. These are the people who truly matter, and I am grateful to have them in my life.

It is easy to become ensnared by the trappings of power and status, but true leadership lies not in the title one holds, but in the impact one makes and the legacy one leaves behind. I am grateful for the opportunity to have served, and I take pride in knowing that I discharged my duties with diligence and dedication. However, I also recognize the importance of knowing when to step aside and entrust leadership to capable hands.

Indeed, one of the silver linings of this experience has been witnessing the success of my successor. In handing over the reins to a competent president who is thriving in the role, I am reminded that leadership is a collective endeavor, built on the contributions of many individuals working towards a common goal. I take solace in knowing that the association is in good hands and that my efforts have laid the foundation for future success.

As I reflect on this experience, I am reminded of the words of former First Lady Michelle Obama, *“When they go low, we go high.”* Despite feeling disappointed by the sudden change in behavior of some people, I choose to take the high road. I will not hold any grudges or resentment, but I will continue to live my life with integrity and authenticity.

Finally, the events following the elections in November 2023 have offered me invaluable lessons in human nature, leadership, and the importance of authenticity in relationships. While the sudden disappearance of certain individuals may have initially caused me dismay, I am grateful for the opportunity to have gained clarity and insight from this experience. Moving forward, I am committed to fostering genuine connections built on trust, respect, and mutual understanding, and I am confident that these principles will serve as the bedrock of my future endeavors.

Dabo is the Former NOUNAA President, he wrote in from Kaduna.