Segun Cadmus: Culture Rule 4, Respond instead of Reacting

Segun Cadmus: Culture Rule 4, Respond instead of Reacting

Dear Mentee,

I’m glad you are getting encouraged by the letters being sent to you.  I have tried to use the examples of my life to explain the culture matrix to you; it seems to be the best means for you to understand what I am saying.

Anyway, I hope you still recall the Culture Rule 3 from Letter (3), “Know the story behind the story”

It’s now time for me to explain the next one

Culture Rule 4: You must RESPOND to the situation, instead of REACTING to it

As you know by now, I can be every emotional. When bad things happen to me, i give into my emotions. Therefore, a lot of my friends, family relatives and colleagues from work, take advantage of me. It is as if they know how to “PUSH MY BUTTONS”. They purposely do things to get on my nerves and make fun of me when they see how i over react.

Furthermore, when bad situations occur at home or with my spouse, I simply give into my emotions. I complain and shout about it so much, I end up getting a headache, loss of appetite and terrible mood swing.

“Do I blow things out of proportion?” Am I the only one that feels this way?, what’s wrong with me?; I need help, I need answers

One day, while I worked at the supermarket, we were told by the head of public relations that once a month, the supermarket would donate some goods to the less privileged in the “help house” located quite close to the central distribution centre of the supermarket, within the town.

They said they needed volunteers who would be in charge of this new project, I offered to join.

Two weeks later, we took some goods from the supermarket store, loaded it into the truck, and headed to the “help house”. There were five of us who volunteered to go

When we got to the “help house”, i was overwhelmed with what i saw. There were children playing in the field, where the help house was built. As we parked the truck, a certain man came to welcome us. He had a wonderful smile on his face as he shook our hands and hugged us.

He escorted us into the house, while young men found around were called to off load all what we had brought for them.

I couldn’t help but notice the clean environment and the smiles on the faces of all those who stayed in the help house.

I must confess, I was a little confused. I thought this place was supposed to be filled with people who needed aid and assistance; how can they be in need yet they looked happier than anyone I have ever met ?

The kids that were playing in the compound were called in, to thank us and show their appreciation. While the kids shook our hands, the man that welcomed us gave each of us a gift!. It was a handmade woven scarf.

I was shocked, we came here to give them things, yet, we were given things in return ?

We left the help house and returned to the supermarket. That night, while I laid down on my bed, I couldn’t help but think about what i experienced at the help house.

There is something they know that I don’t know, that is making them smile.

For the next two months, we followed the same routine, as we took things to the help house. Each time we brought things, the pattern of smiling and appreciation were repeated by the kids and the man, who welcomed us, every time we brought food items.

The next time we visited them,  I asked if i could see that man privately. He took me to the corner of one of the rooms and listened intently as i asked him“ Why do you smile so often?, i know the help house is constantly in need and totally dependent on what people bring here”

The man said that they are aware of how things are in the help house, they just don’t react to it, they respond. They don’t allow situations to determine how they feel, they respond in the best way possible to that situation

“The only way you can improve your circumstance, is simply to improve yourself. You can’t choose all your circumstances, but you can choose how you think and respond to them” he said. That statement hit me hard in the heart. Here is a man who was not in the best situation as regards life, but he approached life better than those of us who were better off than he was.

Then it occurred to me, “You must respond to your situation, and not react to it”. I must take the time to ensure good thoughts race through my mind, when things happen. Such thinking will allow me to know how to approach the situation in the best way.

I thanked him and wrote down what he said, but in my own words, “THINK AND ACT THE BEST WAY” by responding to the situation with good thoughts, and not reacting to it with my emotions, which is often full of bad thoughts. That is how i got the next letter for the culture matrix


Dear Mentee, this statement is so true. It took me some time to adjust to this culture, but i finally got it. My colleagues at work began to notice a change in me.  I responded to situations, instead of reacting to it. They even tried to “PUSH MY BUTTONS”, but noticed i was not the same man. I had changed.

The situations i faced were the same; however, the way i saw it was different. This mindset helped me to approach the situation in a way i could never have done, if my thoughts about it hadn’t changed.

“You must respond to the situation, instead of reacting to it”.

In my next letter, i would tell you how i got the next letter for the Culture Matrix

Remember, your culture is everything!

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Yewande Jinadu

Yewande Jinadu is a Strategic Human Resource Professional with significant experience in solving problems and helping organization deliver value through its people. Over the past 5years, she has used her expertise in Talent Acquisition, Employer Branding, Technical Recruitment, Performance Management and Employee Engagement to shape the culture of various organization. A superb communicator and an advocate of always treating people well. Currently the Founder of CareerLife Nigeria (, a Public Speaker, Trainer and feature writer for top blogs in NIgeria Through CareerLife Nigeria's initiative, several graduates have become employable and gotten job several Job Offers. Recently she was recognized as one of the top 150 global HR Professionals and Top 50 Career Influencers by The Workbooth Yewande is changing the narrative for Young Nigerian Graduates You can reach out to her by sending a mail to: and follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @careerlifeng

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