Recently, at a gathering of friends and potentially new friends over a sumptuous 3 course dinner at the Kampala Serena, I caught myself asking to let Raymond Mujuni allow me to introduce him. It wasn’t an unusual thing. I have introduced him before and I love introducing him because every time you do that there is something new about him. The thrill and excitement is palpable.
As the evening wore on, the conversation swung around to introductions I have done. I have a bit of a penchant for intros. I love doing them. For strangers. For friends. For adversaries. For family. They are so cool because you get to pick exactly what people will remember about this person the first time they meet them. It’s the first time and if you do it right, it will be the only time they will ever need. At least that’s what I have believed.
But my mind careened back to introduction I did two weeks ago, on a #KoiKoiEast trip far away in Kapchorwa, on the slopes of the rift valley, in the heartland of our county’s fastest runners. There I was running my mouth as We introduced the team. The #KoiKoiUG trips are thrilling because they bring new people out of their shells and allow them to experience Uganda’s beauty, culture and food.
One of the common trip practices is to do introductions, so everyone knows everyone. Sometimes they let me introduce people. It can be hilarious but mostly its revealing. Later, one of our sponsors who was there asked me “Why are great introductions important?” In answering I had this on my mind
I feel that people struggle so much in life. No matter how amazing a guy is, he is always behind what the world, society and they themselves expect of their abilities.
If you are a boy genius at 25 there is a guy who is saying you will win a Nobel prize by 30. If you graduate at 22, some aunt is mouthing about how you will have a husband by 24 and twins by 25.
But look around you, no one is doing those things. Guys been in the same job/ position for 6 years. Girls who worked hard and got their masters out here looking at adopting children. Everyone is struggling with something. Everyone isn’t at full potential.
That’s why a good introduction is important; to remind them of what they are. Of all the good they can do. To show them how the world and we see them. To sell them to themselves one more time. Because sometimes you think you are one thing but then you are many things, to many people.
A great introduction gets someone a foot in the door. It’s a chance for people to meet them for the first time. To not let them be judged by their dressing, to remove prejudice, to eliminate doubt about who they are and to establish them as the most (insert anything) person there is. It takes away the burden of working prove one self.
Finally, knowing Uganda and their propensity to welch, a good introduction acts to forestall the initial instinct by creating a guilt trigger.
And so in closing, if you ever get a chance do a friend a solid and roll out the red carpet for them.