Pause and learn from other people’s mistakes


In the powerful book, The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, right from the beginning, the writer expresses the ideal of learning from other people’s mistakes, rather than your own. It saves you the pain, the trouble and the shame that would come about if you experienced it yourself.

Many of you must have watched DJ Crème De La Crème’s sex tape. As expected, Kenyans made fun of him on social media, while others rebuked him and judged him. I don’t think it matters when the video was recorded, or why he felt the urge to record himself doing you-know-what – the shame and criticism cannot be undone.

With the advancement of technology, news these days spreads faster than wildfire. Almost everyone has a smartphone, therefore access to information is just a click away, and we have the privilege of having the world on the palm of our hands.

The DJ’s apology did not stop Kenyans from churning numerous memes ridiculing him, as well as posts that were anything but kind. The fact is that some people have fun at your expense as you suffer.

But even as we laughed, I acknowledged that this can happen to anyone. You would even be shocked to find out that some of those who criticised him have one or more such tapes stashed somewhere, or have done things that would shock.


As Robert Green advices, there is so much that we can learn from this man’s mistake and save ourselves from falling into the same trap.

We are living in interesting times, where anything goes. Things that were considered taboo are now the norm. Our youth are enslaved to alcohol and irresponsible sex. Same sex relationships are on the rise, so is drug addiction.

We are simply living in the moment, and are not focused on how the future will judge our actions. YOLO (you only live once) is the new motto, and so you bend wherever the wind blows, even when everyone around keeps reminding us to ground ourselves and focus on the ultimate big picture.

A friend of mine at university had a huge tattoo of his favourite rapper. At the time, I thought it was so cool, and at one point, I was tempted to have a tattoo of something too. You see, girls were all over him because he seemed cool – huge tattoo, ear piercings and the kind of clothes and jewelry that rappers wore. He was the talk of campus.

Later on after school, we all started to job hunt, but it became particularly difficult for him because of his appearance. He looked like a gangster, and who wants to hire one?

All this boils down to having the ability to think forward into the future because what we do today might just affect or determine our future – that sex tape, that affair, that one-nightstand.

Look around you and see the many people, famous or not, who were way up there but came tumbling down because of something they did for a few minutes or seconds of pleasure.

We must start taking a critical look at our pasts and see where we have stumbled, but most important, ensure that we don’t repeat it, in case it messes up our future. While at it, we should pay attention to where others have fallen and tread carefully; as they say, a mistake is not a mistake until it is repeated.