Sometime in 2020, during one of those (#MeToo campaigns), There was a social media topic about people’s characters. Commonly, such topics involve qualities one looks out for in a partner. Amongst a number of comments on a certain post I can’t seem to find anymore was a comment by Rashida Namulondo, a poet and actress. I was so captivated by a fellow creative’s comment that I had to capture it and reproduce it for the world to see how beautiful she described qualities of her potential partner.
So, below she said…
‘’People are not perfect! It depends on what you are looking for. Personally I want a good person, be it a romantic relationship, work relationship or friend. This is how I know a good person that I want in my life.
- How he treats people around him especially support staff like waiters and cleaners. How he treats colleagues under his supervisor and he is in a superior position than them. It’s very easy to see someone’s manners in these situations of power play.
- How open is he to the fact that he’s still learning, and that other people’s opinions and perspective on life counts just like his? Basically, I can’t handle people who think they are better than others and have this ‘I am right’ attitude.
- How does he handle conflict? Let’s say for example, he bumps into someone on the road. Does he accept blame or goes on cursing and denies blame. Now, I know even the best of people curse on Ugandan roads but there are people who go beyond. Also, is he the kind who can be able to take the courage to mend things whether it’s his fault or not?
- Does he have a plan in life and is he working courageously towards it? If he has no plan, is he the kind committed and interested in learning? Does he seek to improve his skills and take an extra mile to learn new things and skills? I can’t handle people who don’t strive to grow and be better than they were yesterday.
- Is he a grateful person? Does He acknowledge the mercy of God? The help of others who have helped him? Is he grateful and is he able to meaningfully acknowledge help?
- Does he take feedback? Is he able to take feedback without turning you into a bad person for giving him negative feedback and does he strive to change?
- How does he speak of people when they are not around? It’s okay to complain once in a while about someone who has wronged you at work etc. but constantly speaking evil of someone? Noo! Does he ever acknowledge the good things even the worst his enemies could have or has done for him in his life? What is his relationship with his relatives? Even the bad ones.
- Now being a nice person doesn’t mean to be a push over. Can he stand up for himself respectfully without insulting others? Does he have boundaries and non-negotiables? And can he tell me the truth every single day even if it hurts?
- Finally, does he see me? Does he even notice I am there? How well does he know my dreams? My goals. My ambitions. (This question is key because it can only mean a person listens when you talk or even when you don’t.) I know people I hardly talk to but they can recite my dreams, my hopes, things that upset me and those that bring me joy off their lips. And there are those I am close to who even after so many conversations have no slightest idea about who I am, what I hope for, what angers me and what are my dreams.
A person who truly sees you. Knows your soul because they feel it. That is the one that truly cares about you.
NB. These may seem so many things but very often you will be surprised that a good person ticks off all these boxes.
Rashida is a Ugandan based actress, stage director, and award-winning poet. She is the founder of the Sophie Muwanika Institute of Art for Change. A nonprofit organization that uses theatre for peace building.