Malibongwe Sithelo
4 min readJan 8, 2022
Photo by Gregory Hayes on Unsplash

Be that coward once

Changing a course is not a sign of failure and defeat. Changing lanes to give way for a speeding automobile car is not a sign of cowardness. You have a right to still keep that lane as long as you are driving at an expected speed. Allow people to call you a coward knowing you are building your castles, not in the sand. Give your bullying partner and friend that freedom to win the first argument. It really doesn’t go that far as long as you haven’t taken part in it. In life, we are taught to be very brave and face our own Goliaths daily.

Joseph in the Bible might have been called a coward when he ran away from the seduction of Potiphar’s wife. It is not a sign of weakness but protecting your unclear future. I’d rather take all risks in life but mostly the calculated ones. Surrendering is the beginning of victory in your life. In fact, that’s the road to success sometimes. People that are very optimistic tend to think everyone ought to never give up. Cowardice is a lack of bravery I agree. Be brave to never take a route that leads to danger. Sometimes you need to be brave enough to walk away from a overheating debate.

In life allowing other people to have it their way is also bravery. You do not have to prove a point in how capable you are of doing everything. Walking out of a heated argument helps to introspect and build more strength to take part in the next round of a debate. I have learned that sometimes one ought to remain calm in all crises. Indeed, standing out for your rights is better than having not tried to fight.

Fighting fair is permissible. In many cases, you need to put your foot down. Not in all cases will work. Be the last to talk in a meeting. By that, you collect all information from everyone’s point of view to come up with a constructive solution if there is a problem to be resolved. Take a seat in the house as if you are being schooled by your partner and listen all the way through without using any words to pass your message across. Only by listening. Get out if you are the one who is the main problem to put yourself together and clean up the mess when the storm has calmed. Be that kind of a coward who will never react to every crisis with anger. But do not die inside. Use words if you can but very slow in speech. Clarity will destroy your enemy.

I remember one story in the Bible when Jesus was teaching with regards to war and surrendering. He mentioned the fact that before even going to the war you first do some estimates. Study your opponent if it means to surrender and go back to the drawing board, do so. “Can’t man sit down and count the costs?´ If you know your enemy has more soldiers you surrender before any damage. To me, it’s like surrendering to reserve and making your soldiers strong for the next fight rather than going for a war for the sake of avoiding defeat.

In any relationship one is going to win the argument, one loses. Winning fair and square doesn’t always come physically and more points. You can always earn more points in not fighting at all. At least your opponent still anticipates a win against you but doesn’t really know what you are capable of doing until you show up in the ring and lose.

Be a coward once to study your opponent before engaging in a war. But never overthink your way into execution. Walk away from your friends’ boasting about getting the latest toy of cars. Give your partner time to shout, insult and curse you but keep your mouth shut and listen. Your time will come, a day to show up ready on the ring will come. You might lose a debate, argument, and fight but at least you still have your temper with you. Basically, you’ve got nothing to lose by refusing a fight back when you are not ready.

Be that coward who is slow to anger. When you take calculated risks you even help the opponent to see their fall. Wisdom is coming out of any fight without any bloodshed. Have you noticed that when someone wants you to lose your cool, they call you nothing but a coward? The provocative opponent has all the reasons to lose because they are testing waters with a full body instead of feet first. They can’t even see if they are swimming against the current. They want you to feel intimidated. Be a coward that takes longer to react so as to learn the strength and weaknesses of the opponent.

Malibongwe Sithelo

I'm a freelance writer, a runner and a public servant in South Africa. I write about everyday life experiences.