Surviving The New World, The Gatekeeper’s Secret Weapon

Before she died, around 9 years ago, my grandma told me a story that has stuck with me the rest of my adult life​back in my high school days, I had just travelled home to my family for a long holiday and that morning as I walked into Granny’s room to clean, I remember she looked up with a smile and asked me what time it was. As older people will have it, telling her the time transcended into an eye-opening conversation the rest of the time I spent cleaning her room​

German Woman–as we fondly called her–said many years ago, before the invention of clocks (or before clocks could reach her village), people used shadows to predict time. If two people had a meeting they’d agree on a meeting time by keeping track of the position of the shadows under the sun in relation to stationary objects.​

She was quite sure that the shortest shadow usually occurred when the sun reached its highest point while the longest shadows came when the sun was dwindling out​

She also mentioned that during her time, it took could take weeks and even months to send a single letter across to another city, and sometimes you weren’t sure if the recipient had gotten the letter until they responded back after months​

But after all these years, seems it took me 9 years to fully unpack the clues behind our casual conversation (and how this led to the most incredible super power I’ve began to practice)​

You see my , this week I started reflecting on that particular conversation with grandma–and wherever she is now– how much their generation should be looking at ours and marvelling at how fast things have changed. It dawned on me that in our century, with the blink of an eye you could send millions of messages in one click through emails, social media and telephone etc…​

But those thoughts didn’t end there… ​

It happens that although our generation is experiencing a speedy growth– we may be witnessing an even BIGGER TRAP that lots of people do not realize, and how much more responsibility has been given to us​

It’s a problem I call ‘Selective Retention’​

, do you remember the parable that says ‘to whom much is given, much will be required?’​

You see, back in the years when I studied Journalism and Mass Communication in the University of Buea, we were taught a theory called GATEKEEPING​

In the actual practice of Gatekeeping, a journalist (who is simultaneously communicating news to thousands and millions of people) has the responsibility to protect his audience by carefully filtering the messages they receive​

It’s a little like the journalist stands at the GATE between the uncensored information (what he receives as raw content from news sources) and the censored information (what he finally publishes to the public). This means the journalist plays a central role in revealing ONLY the relevant and verified piece of information to his audience despite the chunk of content he receives​

‘But Arrey, how do all these stories relate to me?’, I’ll tell you​

My dear friend, in our generation where knowledge is readily available on the streets, probably the biggest discipline anyone will need to practice is the art of SELECTIVE RETENTION by absorbing only the relevant piece of information​

With the availability of knowledge flying on the streets, you may constantly find yourself being soaked in random bits of information that you end up getting drowned and overloaded​

Our generation has millions of voices–all speaking at the same time and you’d have to take every person’s word with a pinch of salt (even my voice to you). These voices are currently speaking to you through the internet, the books you read, radio programmes, tv shows, magazines articles, blogs, internet ads, newspaper publications and all other media ​

And in this noisy scene, don’t be like a truckload of people who do not find the discipline to pause, reflect and to SELECTIVELY RETAIN ONLY WHAT IS NECESSARY for YOUR GROWTH​

My friend, I need you to understand that there are millions of mentors sharing stories and quotes, millions of influencers–who social media has positioned as experts–all sharing lifestyle advice​

Not all of them are for YOU​

Each of these guys are not wrong for sharing their opinions and thoughts. But for each of them, these opinions have been repeatedly shaped by personal experiences, refined by individual thought patterns, environment, upbringing and the level at which their minds have evolved.​

So my friend, unlike German Woman and her generation, today you have an even bigger responsibility –to GATEKEEP your heart from every piece of toxic information that is destructive to your growth, to guard your energy as your life depends on it

Not all trending topics need your energy (people marrying 911 wives is none of your business)​

Not all books are written for you​

Not all quotes and wise words were written for your kind of situation, they may sound convincing but not all apply to you​

Not all ‘sexy’ feminist ideas and practices are applicable to you and your next relationship​

Not all gender equality discussions relate to, and must be applied to your current circumstance​

Not all pastors and religious doctrines are the right fit for you​

Not even all my writings are the right content for you​

This week I want you to crazily practice the art of Gatekeeping. Like a diligent journalist protecting his audience, protect your brain and energy, discipline yourself to SELECTIVE RETAIN only the necessary and not the trending

My friend, get out there hungry, but in all your dinners, feed from the right plates and remember that constipation exist!​

Share this message with SOMEONE YOU LOVE (copy the relevant details to social media or forward to their emails)​

PS: As you do so, I want to show you a short clip. It’s a 2mins video of me speaking some months back when I was asked to share at Zion Baptist Church in Cambridge, UK. Go watch it and let me know what you think!​

If you’re a Facebook lover, watch it here. For Instagrammers, click here to watch, and for my twitter friends, watch it here (don’t forget to connect while you’re there)​

I wish you a good week ahead (and please share this message with someone. Join the Facebook group here)​

Arrey Bate​

Internet Entrepreneur | Author | Journalist​

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